Saturday, December 29, 2012

Choo Choo, Choo Choo......

Friday has less meaning when your job is moving your motorcoach every few days.....then Friday is just like every other day.....only better.....it always feels like the weekend....except when you are working at Amazon and it only means one more 12 hour day before you're off for two days.  The only other time Friday has more meaning than any other day in this lifestyle is when you are driving through a major metropolitan area near rush hour, or it's the Friday after Christmas and everyone is driving back to where they came from all day long causing the Interstate to come to a stop in the middle of no where.

The day started out with us moving the coach over to Choo Choo Express Garage to be serviced by Joel, our mechanic.  Joel did a safety inspection of all the running gear, lubed the running gear, serviced the transmission, changed its filter, changed the engine oil, change its filter, and replaced the two fuel filters.  I had budgeted $1,500 just in case Joel found something serious that needed to be addressed.  As it turned out we still have over 60% on the brake linings, the front end is in good shape, except for a minor adjustment on the Pittman Arm linkage.  The transmission fluid looked brand new to Joel, and he thought we had serviced it very recently.  I told him I didn't know when it was last serviced, and that I hadn't had it serviced since I bought the coach in March of 2008.  Once he got to filter he knew I was right....it was a booger to get off, but off it came.  

We have been using Rotella T 40 weight (single weight) since we bought the coach, and so had the prior two owners.  Don, the owner, recommended switching over to Delo 400 (a Chevron product) 40 weight, and so we took his recommendation.  It took about 5-6 gallons to fill the crankcase, and refill our oil reservoir.  The oil was the most expensive single part of our service costing close to $170.  It took around 3.5 hours for the service....we were only charged for 3 hours of labor at $55 per hour.  So with labor, oil, filters and lube our total came to only $422.30.......as I wrote out the check it felt like someone had just handed me back $1,100 I had already spent....in my mind that money was gone.  Again, that's my nature.....I always assume there's going to be something wrong that is expensive to fix....when will I learn?  Of course, the day will come when something really expensive will come along......won't it?  Joel says if you service the heck out of these engines they'll run forever.  Well, the prior two owners of my coach did exactly that, and I am the beneficiary of their diligence.  I am doing my best to continue their tradition.

We left Choo Choo, and Rossville, GA around 1 pm heading south on I-75 toward Macon, GA, our destination for the afternoon.  The distance was 190 miles.....not a bad drive, normally, on an Interstate....maybe 3.5 hours of driving.  Unfortunately, we came upon a 7 car accident about 25 miles south of Rossville that delayed us around 45 minutes.....then just south of Atlanta we hit holiday, and rush hour traffic around 4pm delaying us another 30 minutes, so we finally arrived at the Walmart in Macon, GA around 6pm.

This is our second time in this Walmart, and it is one of our favorites.  We felt safe here last time, and this time also.  There are several other RV's here in this part of the parking lot, so that also adds to the comfort level.  Plus, and a big plus, there are several restaurants within walking distance.  I had only had a bowl of cereal, and half a sandwich all day, so I was famished.  We quickly changed into street clothes (I wore my pajamas to drive in.....very comfortable!), and walked across the street to Buffalo Southwest Cafe and ordered a couple of pints of draft beer.....Shock Top for me, and some appetizers.  For starters we ordered a plate of Tangled Texas Twists.......homemade potato chips covered with a special cheese sauce, sour cream, jalapenos, and bacon chips.....a very decadent dish for sure!


We sat there unwinding, and enjoying the food and draft beer for about 1.5 hours.  Afterwards we walked back across the street and did some shopping at Walmart, as we always do when we use their parking lot to overnight.  We needed some AAA batteries for our walkie talkies, Kleenex, and milk.  Then it was back "home" for the night.  I turned on the genset, and set up the satellite dish to watch a bowl game before heading off to slumberland for the night.

It was a good day, and even though we ran into delays on our drive south it was really no big deal......after all we have no schedule, or anywhere we HAVE to be, right?  So why get stressed over traffic.....it is what it is.  And we found out our home is in good working order, safe to drive thousands more miles, and change our view hundreds of times.

Today south towards Cedar Key....it's about 300 miles, and we haven't decided 100% that we will go the distance today....we'll just have to see.....I would say it's about a 95% chance we will go to bed in Cedar Key tonight.

Thanks for stopping by!



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