Well we are home. We purchased our 2007 Safari Simba 38SDD from Vacations To Go RV via eBay and picked it up in Williamston, SC over the weekend. Allen (Daisy’s Brother), Daisy, Shirley (Daisy’s mom) and I rented a car and drove to Fuquay Varina NC to drop the ladies off to see our new Great Grandson while Allen and I continued onto SC for the RV.
No issues getting down there other than a LONG drive. Returned the rental car to the airport on Saturday Morning and got a shuttle back to the hotel. Michael picked us up around 11 AM. Allen and I did our inspection of the rig and only issue we found was the horn. It worked once and then quit. Some troubleshooting and still couldn’t get it to work. First item on the list for maintenance. Other than that we were ready to go. Paid the balance off and hit the road around 1 PM.
Things were messed up from the start, hehe. Our GPS decided we needed to go South in order to go to North Carolina. After about 20 miles, I decided to fire the GPS and return to North Carolina the way we came down. Turned around and headed north. We got maybe 80 miles when the RV started to buck and slow down to a crawl going uphill. We pulled off the exit and our guardian angel was sitting there working on another broken down vehicle. I asked him if he could take a look at the rig and he said NO. But he did have some friends that could and would escort us to the truck stop.
Called his friends and about 2 hours later they showed up. During that time we had discussed with them what happened and they felt it was a fuel filter. Brought one with them and did a little remove and replace. Oh BTW, by now it was raining, heavy. I kind of felt bad for the tech that had to crawl under the RV to change out the filter. He was soaked. But $450 later and we were on the road again.
Heading up North and driving in the pouring rain. Started to get dark and decided to call it a night. Just as we decided that it was time to pull off… you guessed it Murphy shows up again. The bus started bucking and slowing down going up hills. So we pulled off into a Cracker Barrel for dinner and to calm down some. Upon leaving I asked the manager if we could leave the RV in the parking lot. Long story short, he said yes, kind of.
Spent the night in the rig and in the morning got on the phone with my son-in-law and decided we needed to get some diesel additive. Something called Diesel 911. No one knew what it was. But Allen found this stuff that was supposed to remove water from the fuel. Added it to the tank, started the engine and ran it for about 30 minutes. Then drove around the empty parking lot a few times and head on our way to NC, only 60 miles away.
We made it! Yes we were in NC. The sky was blue, temperature was in the 70s and life was good.
Murphy returns, just outside of Greenville NC, the RV starts bucking again going up hills. Pull off the side of the road and called the son-in-law. We checked the fuel filter no water in the line. Decided it was time to call Good Sam Roadside Assistance. They were great. It took several hours and being a Sunday, no repair centers were open, but they could get us towed to a shop to be looked at first thing Monday morning. We spent several hours waiting for a tow truck. I must say if you have to be broken down on the side of the road, a Class A is the way to go. While we were waiting, we checked out the TV, antennas, generator etc. Watched some McHale’s Navy and a football game. When the tow driver showed up, he was quick and very professional. Hooked us up and off we went. During the time we were waiting the wife and Mother in law drive out from the other side of the state with blankets, clothes and some food. We had a quick dinner and they returned to our granddaughter’s house. We spent a second night dry camping.
Monday morning, we awoke to people arriving to work. You would think that they never got to work on a Class A. Seriously we had like 5 mechanics going over the rig. Computers hooked up here and there, mechanics in, under and around the RV. Finally they say we have a bad fuel filter! I tell them it was just replaced and they said not that one, this one and show us a second fuel filter back by the fuel tank. Thirty minutes later and we take it for a test drive. It seems fixed. Return back to the shop and wait for the bill. Seriously, this guy is working on it for 30 minutes. I’m thinking 5 mechanics and computer diagnostic, this is going to be expensive. Finally, he is done. I ask him much? He starts by saying well the first number is a 1! Here it comes one thousand dollars. Next number is a 2, now we are at 1200 dollars. Third number is an 8. That will be $128 please. WHAT! This can’t be. One mechanic comes out and replaces a filter and it cost me $450. 5 mechanics come out and replace a filter and it only cost $128. I paid it quick before he changed his mind. We are on the road again.
Now we are going to pickup the wife and mother in law. The whole way I am waiting for the engine to bog down or something else to happen. Nothing! We get there and not one problem. After a quick meal with the baby and mommy, we hit the road.
Make it to just outside of Washington DC and pull into a campground, Americamp, for the night. First night with full hookups. Everything works! Took a little bit to get the sewer, water and electric hooked up, but no Robin Williams moments.
Ordered some pizza and took a walk around the park. Nice way to unwind from a very stressful day.
Morning comes and time to hit the road. Pull in the slides, disconnect the water, electric and sewer. Sit in the driver’s seat, start the engine, turn on the lights and go make my walk around inspection…. HONK! The damn horn works! Cool I think one more thing off the list of repairs. Walk outside and find out now the marker lights don’t work. I have headlights, turn signals and brake lights but no marker lights. Oh well, I won’t need them as the weather is great and we will be home before dark.
Onto Interstate 95 we go. Plans are to by-pass the major cities with 495 and 695. Well best laid plans of mice and men… we miss the 495 ramp. Then we miss the Interstate 95 and end up on 395 going into Washington DC. Having never been this way, I figured that 395 should be a major route. First sign of possible problem is a flashing sign that says our rig is over the height limit. I am thinking, what height limit? But before I can do anything here is a tunnel at 13 feet! The RV is listed at 12 ft. 8 inches. I ducked, but we made it. Not sure how much room we had. Before I could relax, we are dumped onto the city streets of Washington DC at 11 AM on a Tuesday morning. Bumper to bumper traffic at 30 miles an hour with cab drivers weaving in and out and EVERYONE wanting to be in front of me. My hands are sore from holding onto the wheel. Some fool cuts me off and I lay on the horn. Nothing! Add the horn back onto the list.
We make it through DC and back onto 95. BREAK TIME. Don’t you know the first two rest stops in Maryland are closed for repairs? Finally, get to pull over and all I want to do is collapse. I am a nervous wreck on the inside.
We have some lunch, walk around a little and then head back up 95. Thankfully, the rest of the trip is pretty uneventful. Only two more people decided they wanted to die and try to use me for that purpose. But I have watched the videos and keep my distance. Then Murphy returns. I find that I am having more and more problems seeing out the driver’s side mirror. It seems to keep moving off to the side. By the time we get to Wilmington, the mirror is resting alongside of the rig and totally useless. One more thing to the list. I am so thankful that this rig has cameras. We were able to stay out of any major issues and we made it home!
Maintenance has been performed. The lights work, the mirror is fixed and as soon as I can get an air horn release valve that will be fixed. Oh by the way, I am feeling a lot more at ease with driving the RV.