Worst Travel Day Ever … or at least to date.

Posted by on August 6, 2016

So let’s recap … had a good start to the day, leaving Thousand Trails in Williamsburg VA. Got on the road by 12:30 for a 3 1/2 hour trip to Baltimore, for a 2 night stop at Bar Harbor RV Park.

We get on the road, but need to stop for fuel as we only have about 1/3 tank. Pull off an exit for fuel, but while driving by the gas station I don’t like the setup and don’t want to stop there. Ok back on the highway, 1 exit later I see a sign for Pilot. Great, we stop for fuel at Pilot – paying only $1.86/gallon WOO HOO .. that was a cheap fill up. Check the car straps, get back on the highway and the generator stops running. Ok, let’s pull off and take a look. Got genny running again, check the car straps and back on the highway we go, genny stops again 1/2 hour later. Open the windows and turn on the roof vents, but the temps inside are rising above 90 degrees. Time to stop again. Now take note I replaced the fuel filter, carb, fuel line, air filter, oil and oil filter prior to this trip with new parts. The only thing I did not replace was the fuel pump.

We pull off the highway again, stopping at RV friendly Bass Pro Shops to further diagnose – looks like the fuel pump is bad. Spent the next 2 hours trying to find the pump at truck stops, RV dealers and auto parts stores. 1st RV dealer actually had an ONAN fuel pump, but it’s the wrong one The last auto parts store we stopped at said they had an aftermarket pump (same one I see on amazon), in stock in the warehouse. I order the pump, setup my “garage” in the parking lot and wait 45 mins. Well 45 mins later, it’s the wrong pump. Has the right part number, but it’s not the pump I need. Well through some more troubleshooting (and hot-wiring), I get the pump working again. Ok let’s get going .. check the car straps and we’re back on the road again, yay!

Oh wait … wow that’s a lot of traffic – navigation is reporting 70 minutes of traffic due to an accident. I am so glad that genny is running again, as it’s hot outside. Make it though the accident traffic and then all our navigations light up with another traffic warning – all lanes on 295 north are closed due to an accident. Great, we are routed that way – ok let’s make a quick stop to stretch my legs, check the car straps and choose an alternate route. We decide to head further up 95 – bad idea, we should have just drove towards the traffic.

Our re-route takes us though Baltimore, instead of around it. We get off 95 and the bridge is out in Baltimore – more re-routing through the city now. We really don’t like the close quarter driving through a major city, but hey I get another city driving sticker for myself!

Wow, the roads through here are BUMPY, BUMPY, BUMPY and the re-routing is taking us through some bad neighborhoods. That’s ok, but the tight quarters, the cars parked sticking into the street, all the pedestrians walking around, cars not giving us space in the tight lanes — stressful. Oh, did I mention that the generator stopped again just before we exited Rt 95 and will not start again

Finally we made it to RT 40 – home stretch to the RV park. Back on a wide travel road. we find the turn off for the RV park and pull in. It’s dark, it’s 11pm – let’s get to the office, find our spot and try to unload and setup quietly. Nice!! we have a pull through spot and I will not have to take the car off the trailer and disconnect the trailer from the RV. In fact, we only have to back up (in the dark) about 40 feet to swing into our spot.

Maureen helps me backup in the dark, we pull into our spot. I jump out to make sure we are lined up ok and Maureen asks “You did unhook the left side straps from the car when you got out earlier, right?” Hell no, I did not!!! – the streets through Baltimore did a number on us. All the bouncing and jolting around, must have been enough to either loosen up a strap enough, or knock one of the hooks out of the pocket I lock them in. BTW – did you notice that we **always** check the car straps every time we stop?

Ok potential crisis averted – let’s get setup. Hot and sweaty, mind racing about what could have happened — let’s get jacks down, open the slides and get some midnight dinner. Maureen asks – “What’s that noise?” while I am opening the galley side slide – I don’t know, I don’t hear it – then POP. I forgot to take the adjustable slide lock out before opening the slide.

Reminder note to self for next time – stop, take a deep breath or two and regroup before setting up after a bad travel day.

Jacks down, slides out – dinner is warming up and I am having some DRINKS!

After 6 years and nearly 20,000 miles of RV travel in this configuration – I’m glad this was not our first trip – because if it was, it could have been our last ….

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