Author: Williams, Dave


I spent more than a couple of these 1st Thursdays talking about being retired and what I would be spending my copious free time on. I've talked many times about bass playing, rehearsing or practicing, taking lessons, walking with lots of flats, jamming and playing in bands. I have also on numerous occasions filled you in on my beer making endeavors and have made multiple mentions of my vegetable and herb garden.

This was and is the plan. Play more bass, make more (and better) beer and grow some great vegetables. From my perspective, everything is good on all those fronts. Although maybe my thumb is a little on the yellow side of green but all is good with these endeavors.

What has happened though, is by outright necessity, I have taken on an additional time consuming hobby. Maintaining my motorhome! This is darn near a full time job. You guys never told me about this when I "crossed over" the water ditch a couple of years ago. I was sure it was get in and go whenever and to wherever I want. Yeah right, but don't forget to check the ................well everything, heater, toilet, stove, propane, slide out, sewer, shower, electricity, refrigerator, awning, etc. and make sure you have the right toilet paper.

Usually at this time of the year I would just be getting back from my annual trip to the tropics to celebrate the spring equinox but this year we couldn't make the trip because the motorhome is in the shop.

A few weeks ago we went to a campout with our RV club friends. Usually, these are very mellow affairs with some good food and drink and a chance to get away and hang out away from home. Linda brings her mandolin and guitar and I bring one of my basses. The other club members aren't players so just Linda and I play a little together which for some strange reason we don't do much at home, at least just the two of us.

That is how it was supposed to be but it turned to be the trip from hell. The campground was an un-kept parking lot with the camping spaces on top of each other complete with potholes that appeared to come from a recent meteor shower. Minutes after arriving we locked ourselves out of the rig. It was downhill from there. After getting back in, we had the slide out malfunction, the dinette table collapse, wall sockets pulling off the wall and a leak in the bathroom sink. Finally, on the way home we picked up a nail in a tire that was just put on 4 days earlier. Other than that the campout was lots of fun.

Now the RV is in the shop waiting for $1500 worth of parts to fix the slide out.

Here’s the deal. I’m neither a mechanic nor an engineer. Nobody knows my name at the auto parts or hardware stores and in fact there is some kind of radar that goes off when I go into one of those stores that lets the clerks know right away to not let me touch anything. It’s for my own protection, they say.

Sure over the years I have done some maintenance and repairs on our cars and around our home but only when we had no other real alternative at the time. You know like not having enough money to get your car repaired but needing it to get to work. Then taking 3 or 4 times longer than a real mechanic to get it limping for a few days before someone like my wife’s cousin or some parent from my little league team could do it correctly. That was years ago. Once I became a “giant in the business world”, no more maintenance for me. That’s why the universe created Jiffy Lube and the like.

I’m finding out that owing a motorhome requires a lot more hands on maintenance than I anticipated. It seems that being somewhat handy comes with the hobby. Cousin Doug doesn’t work on motorhomes. I don’t think Jiffy Lube does either.

So what is a mechanical misfit to do if he wants to keep owning a motorhome. Well first, he needs to suck it up and get back to the “do whatever it takes” kind of guy he was 30 years ago. I’m doing that. I have more hand tools in the RV than I do in my home and have even recently used them to fix a leaky sink and to repair a stripped wall socket.

This recent embracing of my inner mechanic helps but it is not enough. I also needed to find “a go to” shop for my rig repair needs and I found one in Redwood City. The warning radar still goes off when I go into their shop but they know me now and take care of me well.

Word is, we will be getting the motorhome back this week just in time to pack up for the Walker Creek Music Camp. I picked up some of the super secret TP at Walmart so I’m set there. Can someone remind me what else I need to check before hitting the road? ………………..oh yeah, everything!

Anyway, as we like to say around here often, I told you all that so I could tell you this. I won the FHU lottery again this year. That’s three years running. (I’ve been hoping this streak of luck would carryover to the Super Lotto or Powerball but nooooooo.) So, as in the last few years, we will be “crossed over” again this year. I don’t know the site number yet but I will be sure to tell you when I know because we are extending our annual invitation to stop by have a sip of anejo and maybe pick a tune or two. I’ll be at Vern’s too, pouring beer. Hope to see you there.

Posted:  4/3/2014

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