Just like the week leading up to vacation, this week following vacation was pretty busy, leaving little time for blogging. But it’s finally Saturday and I have time to catch my breath and reflect on the vacation that wasn’t meant to be.
Don’t get me wrong, the vacation was lovely. It really was. It was just not the vacation we had planned.
After the whole getting locked out incident, Brian made it back to Indian Trails sometime in the early afternoon on Tuesday. We just hung out and tried to stay cool until we headed to Portage, Wisc., in the early evening to pick up groceries for the week and grab some dinner. It was way too hot to grill out. We wanted pizza, but the only pizza place we found was a pizza buffet – yuck! So we took our chances on a little Mexican restaurant that turned out to be decent.
We figured it would be too hot for a campfire so we rented a movie and planned to stay in for the night. That’s exactly what we did and had a low key evening of eating ice cream inside the air conditioned camper watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
At about 1:30 in the morning we were in bed watching regular TV when it suddenly turned off. I thought maybe the timer turned the TV off, but Brian tried to turn it back on and the screen stayed black.
He then checked the air conditioner, which we had turned down earlier because it was getting pretty cool inside. It wouldn’t come back on. We soon realized that the only power we had was what was being drawn from the battery, which is basically enough to operate the lights and nothing more.
With flashlights in our hands, and keys in our pockets, (You don’t have to teach me a lesson twice) we went outside to check all of the electrical connections to see if maybe it was a problem with the campground’s electricity. Nope. It was us.
It appeared to be the cable connecting the camper to the campground’s electrical box. It looked like the cable was a little melted where it connects to the outlet on the outside of the trailer. So Brian, once again, got up early the next morning, this time to drive to Camping World, about a half hour away, to buy a new electrical cable.
He made it back with the new cable, plugged it in and — Nothing. He tore what he could apart looking for the problem and just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. At this point, it is the Fourth of July which means no shops are going to be open. He called the Camping World he had just returned from since we knew they were open. They said they had only one young, apprentice-type mechanic on duty who would probably not be a whole lot of help. And the next day? Booked solid. After much hemming and hawing, we decided the only option we had was to come home and get it to our own dealership, where we have priority, first thing the next morning.
We got home at about 4:30 or so. Most of the neighbors were in the middle of their own July 4th celebrations so they were outside, looking at us with confused faces when we pulled up since we weren’t due back for another four days. Within 20 minutes we had invites at two different neighbor’s houses. We really have the best neighbors.
The evening of July 4th turned it to be a lot of fun. We accepted both invites which happened to be from two houses next door to one another. It turned in to a kind of combined party with a lot of back and forth to both sides of the fence separating their yards. The one neighbor has a raised deck with a great view of the fireworks from the local high school so everyone ended the evening there watching the night sky explode in red, white and blue. We got to bed at about midnight. Brian was up a few hours later to be at the shop when it opened. For those keeping count, it’s now day 3 of vacation and day 3 of Brian getting up early to drive somewhere.
We hoped that once we got the trailer to the shop, they would figure out the problem immediately and that it would be a quick fix so we could make it back to Indian Trails by the weekend. We realized this was pretty unrealistic since we have never encountered an RV repair that took less than a week.
It took until Friday to even get a diagnosis. Turned out the actual plug where we hook up the shore power went out. Of course, the parts had to be ordered so we knew camping was out.
By Thursday afternoon we were thinking of alternative plans for the remainder of the vacation. We decided to head up to the Funny Farm, where we had intended to spend the day on Thursday anyway. It’s about 45 minutes from Indian Trails. We headed up there after Brian got home about six hours after he dropped off the trailer. It just so happens, there is a Chevy dealer across the street from the RV dealership. With a broken down trailer, Brian decided we needed a new truck, or something like that. For those who care about makes and models and such (the men in the crowd) we got a 2012 Chevy Avalanche.
We traded in my beloved Jeep Grand Cherokee, which, before Brian accuses me of whining, I agreed to give up as the thought of two car payments seemed ridiculous. The new truck is very nice. But I miss my Jeep 😦
We (and the new truck) spent the last few days of vacation at the Funny Farm in Wisc., but made it back in town for a fun BBQ with my work bestie, Emily, and her family, who were supposed to meet up with us at Indian Trails over the weekend until the RV’s electrical problems. We were bummed to not be camping, but I think all worked out in the end. It was miserable hot and they would have been camping in a tent. Not fun. We’ve rescheduled our camping trip to the end of August.
Between the trip to the Funny Farm and all the laughs we shared there, and then the BBQ, we managed to make lemonade out of lemons, as they say, and had a pretty good vacation despite the hiccups.