Our time in the Clearwater area is wrapping up – it has gone so quickly! That’s probably because we’ve kept so busy! Visiting with my parents and sister, doc visits, chores, friend visits – you know – the things life is made of. It’s not always glamorous or exciting – but life is good.
We’ve had some bad weather recently. For the most part the weather has been really nice, but one day we kept getting alerts on our phones – finally my Dad called and said he had gotten a call from the town of Clearwater that said 60 – 80 mph winds, with large hail and tornados possible. He strongly suggested we pack up and come over to ride it out. We had been planning to fry halibut for dinner together anyways, so we just got it all together, packed up Callie and her stuff, pulled in the slides, secured everything outside and headed over.
Thankfully, it didn’t get as bad as they said, but better safe than sorry!
So as I type today, I’m having my morning coffee, as always, but with one HUGE difference – I’m having it by myself, for the second day in a row. Callie is sitting here next to me, but Bill is not here. He is in Kissimmee, learning how to be a RV Armor installer. More on that later!
Initially, I had thought this was the first time I’d spent the night by myself in the rig, but I’ve actually realized it isn’t. I did spend one night on my own way back in the beginning when Bill spent the night at his brothers. It was just one night though – this time it will be at least 4, possibly 5.
I’ve been doing fine, spending time with my family and I have Callie here at night. There was a time when Bill traveled a lot for work and would be gone for up to 2 weeks at a time. I absolutely HATED that, we were living in KY at the time, our kids were 9/10 years old and our niece and great niece were living with us. The whole family was happy when that chapter ended!
Also this week – we’ve been getting a lot of packages delivered! Bill has been ordering a bunch of stuff! We’ve gotten some items for our new bikes, including a foam sleeve to protect the paint when putting them on the rack, front and rear lights – although I doubt we’ll be riding much at night – they are great even late in the afternoon. He also got us odometers, a rear cargo rack for the back of his bike with a bag that attaches to it. He had one on his old bike, which he salvaged but it is the wrong design for this bike.
Lights were ordered to replace 3 on the back of the rig. When doing light checks, I noticed that some of the LED’s within the brake/turn signal/parking light were out. At first, it was just a few, but over the last couple months, more and more were going out – so time to replace. A running light near the roof was out as well. He was hoping to find just the LED bulb part of the brake/turn signal/parking lights, but they only sell as a complete light; thankfully he was able to find the large ones at BendTrailers.com for significantly less than Heartland was selling them for, but Heartland did have to send us the running light, he was unable to find that one.
Our largest delivery BY FAR has been our new tires! Our Goodyear 16″ G614 tires are fine – they have plenty of tread (6/32) left, but they have close 30,000 miles on them and are almost 4 years old, so “experts” agree that when you are running close to max weight (which we are at +/- 16,500lbs) or heavy, you should replace tires earlier, rather than later. Upgrading to Goodyear H (G114) tires, which means 17 1/2″ rims, has been something Bill considered and researched for quite awhile, and decided now was a good time to do it.
Bill set out to find the best price and landed on the highly rated and recommended TrailerTiresandWheels.com (TT&W). Another consideration we have is our Valor TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) on the rig tires, so some coordination was needed between Valor and TT&W. We needed to purchase new sensors (a band that wraps around the inside of the tire on the rim with a pressure sensor and antenna attached to it) from Valor, who had to ship them to TT&W so they could be installed on our new rims before the tires were put on them. Added complication was we needed Valor to separate the new chips, which we plug into our receiver (which sits in the truck) and a new antenna (which they sent us free after Bill told him how our current one shows — sometimes instead of numbers) from the bands and send to us. Needless to say – I was a bit skeptical of all this working out, especially within the 14 day window we had before moving on.
My concern turned out to be for nothing. The whole thing went off without a single glitch! Bill started the whole process of ordering on Jan 17 , and yesterday, Jan 26, the last thing – the tires/rims, along with wheel covers and lug nuts arrived to the campground via FedEx. The chips and antenna arrived at my Moms a few days ago. The tires are currently locked to one of our jacks with 2 cable locks – don’t want $2350 walking away!Taking care of the lights was the first order of business after a lazy Saturday morning.
The original plan, after installing the lights, was to install at least 2 of the trailer tires before my parents and sister came for dinner. It didn’t work out that way; when going by the office, Bill noticed some activity going on – it was the CG “Welcome Back” lunch! So – we took a break from chores at home to head over to take advantage of our “free” lunch. I put “free” in quotes because after paying $850 for our time here – I don’t really feel like it’s free – ya know?
Being cynical aside, the lunch, Philly style cheese steak sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad and cake, was very good! The management and staff cooked and served and it was very yummy! They even had a drawing for a free item from the store, which has typical campstore items – sewer hoses, t-shirts, etc. Thanks Clearwater Travel Resort!My parents and sister came for dinner, hoping to enjoy my first ever pot roast, cooked in my InstantPot. I mashed some potatoes, and they brought along some corn and cake for dessert, to complete the meal. I had followed my friend, Linda’s, instructions very closely, as she has made successful InstantPot pot roast several times. Well let me tell you – DELICIOUS! Melt in your mouth kind of delicious! I will be making that again! Sunday, after the morning rains gave way to sunny skies, was tire install day! It is very convenient with the auto leveler jacks, as all one needs to do is push the button and up that side of the rig goes!
Switching out tires is pretty straightforward – but those those unfamiliar with the process: 1) break (loosen) lug nuts on one side.
There you have it! Easy peezy lemon squeeze!
Some of you may be wondering what we are doing with the old tires and rims – especially since I mentioned that they are still good, with a good amount of tread left on them (between 6 and 8/32nds) – well we sold them! How cool is that? We will be bringing them to the new owners, Jim & Diana, when we head to Melbourne this coming up week!