On vacations in the past whenever we’ve turned in the direction of home it has been hard to get the vehicle to stop. Hurry becomes the word of the day. So I figured we’d be home in a few days and I could do one post about the entire trip.
Guess what? We are no longer on vacation. This is where and how we live now. So when the weather forecast ahead of us said severe thunderstorms with hail we just stopped where we were. And stayed stopped for days. In fact, we are still stopped.
So here’s my notes from the first part of the trip home.
We got up at 7 a.m. the day of our departure from Lake Aire RV Park near Hollywood, South Carolina, did a bunch of chores and were on the road by 10 a.m.
The first interesting sign of this trip said “Carpet Baggers.” It was the name of a floor covering store. Given what the original carpetbaggers were I was surprised to see someone advertising themselves that way. I wonder how business is?
We stopped at WalMart for groceries. At least it was once a Walmart. Now it is a Food Lion. With only half the items on our list. So, guess where we’ll be stopping later?
Once again our engine lost its turbo boost as we were getting on the freeway. This is becoming more irritating as time goes by.
The next sign said, “Instant Grassification.” It was a billboard advertising a sod company. I admire the advertising people who are able to come up with these clever phrases.
For lunch we got tempted by the billboards advertising Maurice’s BBQ so when we found one on our route we turned in. Odd but tasty. I’d never had yellow BBQ sauce before. This one was called Maurice’s Southern Gold BBQ Sauce. You could buy it by the bottle right there in the fast food place. So, I picked up a bottle and read the ingredients. It did not sound like something I’d be willing to eat. So, it’s probably good I ate it before reading the ingredients, huh?
The next WalMart we found had a horrible access so we didn’t turn in.
We drove through a down pour about 1/4 mile past a rest area when it started raining inside! On me! We have a leak! I shoved a bunch of tissues up around the visor until we could stop and check it out. As it turned out only about one tissue’s worth of water came in but it is very worrisome nevertheless. Why is water coming in? Dave’s bed is up there! We DO NOT want to have problems with mold. This needs further research.
The turbo cut out again. Each time today and at least some of the times previously we’ve been going uphill. We do not know if that is significant or not. This needs further research, too.
We camped for the night at Croft State Natural Area. It took a few tries to get level enough–not level mind you–but level enough. By the time we did we were far enough from the electrical box to need to use both our extension cords. But, it was a quiet place to spend the night.
The next morning we were once again up and out by 10 a.m.
Again our engine lost it’s turbo. This time were coming out of the North Carolina Welcome Center where we had, of course, stopped to pick up a highway map.
The next amusing sign said the next exit was U.S. 64 and it would take us to Bat Cave. Suddenly a deep voice said, “Come on, Robin. We need to go.” OK, it was me that said it but it made Dave laugh.
We passed under the Blue Ridge Parkway. Someday we would like to drive that. We tried once before but we were too late in the season; they closed it the day before we got there.
The next sign said, “French Broad River Basin.” Is that “broad river” or “French broad”?
We stopped for lunch just west of Asheville, North Carolina. When we were ready to leave our “check engine” light came on and our Scan Gauge threw a code! So we pulled into a Ford Dealer’s used car lot making a salesman start drooling. I got the job of explaining our check engine light came on so we needed a place to stop while we figured out what that meant. Dave’s research indicated it was something to do with the EGR valve and that could affect our turbo. So we started looking online for a Sprinter dealer who could, maybe, fix it. There is one ahead of us in Knoxville, Tennessee, who has three Sprinter mechanics and it is open until 8 p.m. We figure even if this code puts us in what known as “limp home mode” which restricts you to driving 30 m.p.h or less we could get to Knoxville by 8 p.m. Fortunately, we got to drive at our regular speed so we got there mid-afternoon. In the meantime, I got a kick out of the fact the code was a 404 error.
On the way to Knoxville we drove through a short tunnel that made our ears pop then we drove out of the tunnel into another down pour. It didn’t rain on me this time, though.
Finally into Knoxville, Tennessee, where the mechanic at Jim Cogdill Dodge replaced our EGR valve. I sure hope that fixed the turbo problem, too.
It was now about 5:00 in the afternoon and we were headed for a SKP park. They tend to close their offices early so I called to see if they had a spot with electrical we could have if we got there in the next half hour. She said yes because she agreed with me when I said it’s too hot to not have air-conditioning. We did not make it there by 5:30 closing but she waited for us, gave us a site, and said come do the paperwork in the morning. We love the way SKPs are willing to take the extra step to help one another. So we are safely tucked into Raccoon Valley RV Park, just north of Knoxville.
We planned to stay two nights but that is turning into many more than that. We stayed here so long we actually had to go into town to buy groceries and pick up medicine today. But we are having great discussions about the implications of buying a car to tow. Maybe we won’t do that yet. Maybe we’ll wait until after we drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez Trace. Maybe.
p.s. Rumor has it the rain problem is a warranty item so we may be able to get it fixed for free. Maybe we’ll go home by way of the Winnebago Factory.