Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama
Since we last wrote, we’ve basically been settled in here at Fort Toulouse so that Malcolm can work and we can go about a more normal routine. Here are some highlights from the past two weeks.
It is dry here in Alabama. Not only low humidity dry, but drought dry. It hadn’t rained here for a couple weeks before we arrived earlier in the month, and in the last 15 days, it only rained briefly one morning. The whole campground is dusty and covered in fall leaves. Also, besides the dryness, the temperatures have consistently been in the mid- to upper 80’s during the day and in the upper 50’s to 60 at night. The 10 day forecast shows more of the same into next week.
We’re really enjoying our workspaces. Val has the sewing machine out and is catching up on projects. Malcolm has been working daytime hours sitting at his desk.
The desk makes it nice to differentiate between work and relaxing with the computer sitting on his recliner. The active noise cancelling headphones help to complete the isolation necessary to focus on the task at hand – like having his own little private office space.
Wetumpka has a new Dunkin’ Donuts store. It opened just before we rolled into town earlier this month. We’ve taken advantage of the proximity to the campground on more occasions then we probably should have.
The day after we decided not to drive all the way up to Indiana for our free warranty check, Malcolm decided to put some blocks under the jacks on the off-door side of our trailer. He used the leveling system control to raise the left-hand jacks and found it odd that the trailer seemed to keep leaning over more and more – especially since we are on a pretty level site.
When the controller beeped and stopped, saying that the trailer was leaning too far, Malcolm looked underneath and saw that one of the tires on that side of the rig was flat. Good thing we didn’t decide to take that trip.
We managed to get the jacks to raise by putting the front of the trailer on the truck hitch and manipulate the side jacks appropriately. With the blocks under the left side jacks, Malcolm leveled the rig back up manually after we pulled the truck back out from under the hitch. He decided to take the tire off and take it to a tire shop later on when he was ready to do the bearing maintenance.
This past Saturday, Malcolm took the flat off the trailer and took the spare with him as well, dropping the flat off at a local tire shop for them to look at. If they found a hole, he was going to have them patch it and swap it onto the spare rim so that the patched tire would be the spare. What the tire store found out, instead, was that the rim was leaking along the inside of the rim behind one of the spokes (see bubbles in picture, above).
Malcolm brought everything back home and on Monday called Tredit Tire and Wheel – the suppliers of wheels and tires to our RV manufacturer. Tredit carries a lifetime warranty on their wheels. After contacting them, they referred us to their online warranty claim procedure which Malcolm filled out, uploading pictures as requested. Within the hour, we had an email indicating they’ll ship us a new rim free of charge and to simply dispose of the failed rim – no need to ship it back.
Since we were staying here for a little more than a month (we’ll head to the Panama City area to visit David mid-November through Thanksgiving), we decided to go ahead and set up all the outdoor items, including putting our screen walls on our EZ Up.
We replaced our aging and dim colored LED light strands with these neat Mickey Mouse lights and hung them inside our EZ Up.
The weekend before last, several of the re-enacters that come to Fort Toulouse/Jackson park during various events were here, including “Ken the Cannon Guy”. Turns out one of the re-enacters had passed away this past year and asked that some of his ashes be shot out over the river from a cannon. His widow and quite a bit of his family and friends were present for the ceremony. It was a fitting tribute.
The camp hosts across from our site have been putting out corn for the local deer population. There are usually two or three deer (sometimes more) that come over every evening for their treat. They’re fairly brave and will approach fairly close to you, but still are pretty wary. It’s fun to see them come over for their daily treat.
Today we took the truck over to the Ford dealer as we’ve been having some vibration in the front-end and the left front tire was wearing funny. Ford verified the suspension was fine and said that the tire was bad.
We picked up the truck from them (no charge for the check – gotta love small town dealers) and ran it down to the tire place where we used to get all our work done when we lived in the area. They put six new Michelin tires on the truck and aligned it for us. It was ready to pick up by 4:30 this afternoon. We rented a car yesterday to run around in while the truck was busy with its spa day.
Malcolm has the rest of his year planned out as far as working hours. He has to keep the yearly average below the 30 hour per week threshold and we are close to that now. To keep his average, he will be completely off work Thanksgiving week, and from mid-week before Christmas until late in the week after New Year’s Day (when we’ll be in Washington state visiting with the grandchildren).
Still trying to sell our previous trailer. The dealer had a prospect this past weekend, but they were offering too little for the trailer. The dealer advised us that we should probably hold our line and wait for a better offer to come along. We went ahead and lowered our minimum price by a couple thousand dollars to see if we can move it soon.