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YEAR #2 - STOP #64

This campground is an unscheduled stop for us. We detoured from our planned route to position ourselves just 9 miles north of Foley RV Center in Gulfport, MS.

Several weeks ago our power awning just quit working. Unfortunately the awning was out when it quit working and I had to manually roll it back up. That involved removing two 4-foot long gas filled struts that steady the awning when the wind is blowing and using my electric drill to wind it back up against the trailer.

Back in August I started a conversation with the Airstream Technician at the factory in Jackson Center, OH about just how to accomplish this is case of a failure. Guess that was a pretty lucky decision!

Anyway our scheduled appointment is tomorrow morning. We have a few other minor problems we hope to get solved in addition to the awning and maybe a few upgrades too.

Tonight we are going to set up our Clam screen room to act as Tricia's office space for tomorrow while I take THE POD over to the RV service center. It will be the first time I have towed the trailer without a trusted copilot/navigator.

TUESDAY - I arrived safely at the service center at 8:00AM and before long they were diagnosing the problem. Turns out one of the gas-filled struts (the one over the doorway) is slightly bent and causing the motor to bind up when rolling in the awning. It will be nearly two weeks to get delivery on that part so once again we are waiting.

In addition to the awning not working I had them look at the generator hookup port located on the front of THE POD. Since late July we haven't had to use the generator because we've had electrical hookups at every location. But in early September we had a pull-through campsite where it made more sense to pull-through backwards (to put our awning away from the roadway) but by doing so it put the utility hookups on the wrong side of the trailer.

It was a much shorter distance to just plug the electric cord into the front generator port instead of running the cord under the trailer to the opposite side. This worked fine for a day and a half and then all of a sudden, nothing, no electricity. My first thought was we blew a breaker in the trailer, nope. Next thought was we blew a breaker at the power pedestal, nope. We always plug in through a huge surge protector, but it was receiving power with no alarm codes showing, so all is well at the power pedestal.

That lead me to believe the problem was still within THE POD. When I moved the cord to the regular hookup location everything was fine once again. Turns out there was a loose wire on the backside of the generator port. Easy fix with no parts required!

On to the next minor problem. The stereo system in THE POD is supposed to be able to be controlled by an app on our phones. It has worked in the past (for a little while), but recently it has stopped showing up in our Bluetooth list of devices. I called up the Polk Audio people and they said to reset the system using a button on the back of the unit. Well it's housed in an upper cabinet with no easy access to the back of the unit. Sounds like a problem for the technician, not me!

They were able to reset the system today but that didn't solve the problem. They'll contact Polk Audio again and readdress the solution when I bring it back in after the other parts arrive.

WEDNESDAY - Tricia and I had a conversation during breakfast this morning that maybe now is the time to do a couple of upgrades we have been wanting to do. Why not take advantage of the fact that we are stationary for a while?

Brand spankin' new RVs, even the expensive ones, are notorious for installing a budget-friendly mattress to help keep the original purchase price down. After having slept on our original mattress for 19 months now, it's time for a replacement. Our current inner-spring mattress has two definitive valleys with a high ridge down the middle. That is not only uncomfortable to sleep on, but does not act as a conduit for snuggling or a happy marriage, if you know what I mean!

Before we can start shopping for a new mattress I need to make sure it's alright if I have it shipped to the RV dealership. Since I was headed into town on a few other errands (the usual gas, groceries and hardware run), I stopped in at the dealership to ask in person. So much better than a phone call when asking for a favor, don't you think? The answer was, "Of course, no problem!". I also inquired if they would have time to install roof vent covers when I brought the trailer back in. Once again the answer was, "Of course, no problem!". We immediately ordered two covers.

Our trailer has two roof vent fans, one above the bed and one above the dinette, that blow the hot air out of the trailer. They are both equipped with automatic rain sensors. As soon as it starts to rain they automatically turn off the fan and close the vent. If the wind is blowing strong enough, which is often the case, we also have to close all the windows and very quickly the inside of the trailer becomes uncomfortable. If we are plugged into electricity we simply turn on the A/C until the rain stops. Problem is that in the very near future we plan to begin doing a lot more remote camping without electricity.

Our solution is to install covers over our roof vents. We opted to go with the semi-opaque grey smoke color, instead of the fully opaque white or black we see on so many other trailers. This way we get the rain protection we need, but still receive a little natural sunlight to brighten up the inside of the trailer. One other advantage to having the vent covers is now we can travel 60MPH down the road and leave the vents open so we don't arrive at our new campsite with a 90+ degree interior, which currently happens quite frequently. That will also help keep things colder in the freezer/fridge during our longer moves. We don't operate our fridge on propane when traveling down the road like some people do. In the event of an accident, it just feels safer to have the valves on the propane tanks closed.

THURSDAY - Today we are online shopping for a new mattress. Neither Tricia or I have even owned a memory foam mattress. We have both slept on one for short periods of time, but never night after night after night. Well soon, that's all about to change.

As with all mattresses, whether it's memory foam or innerspring, you'll find a wide range of prices. The trick is to find a good mattress, at a fair price. The last home mattress we bought in 2011 was over $600 and when we sold the bed frame 7 years later we threw away the well worn out "new" mattress. I know $600 doesn't buy you a top of the line mattress, but this was a "Top Brand Name" during a supposed "50% off Closeout Sale" when the Mattress Giant stores were being bought out by the larger Mattress Firm chain. Most television commercials will lead you to believe that after 8 years it's time to replace your mattress, which leads me to believe they should probably serve you well, even after 10 years or more.

This time around we are going with a memory foam mattress. We have set our spending limit at $300 and well, just crossing our fingers that we'll make a wise decision.

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