Home Away From Home, North Carolina

Our January Trip Begins

When we woke up this morning it was 9 degrees with a real feel of 4 degrees. Folks, that just does not routinely happen in Eastern North Carolina. We quickly got the last things done before leaving and went out to start the RV. Nope, it didn’t start again so Jerry put a battery charger on it for just a few moments and we were on our way to Howard’s RV in Wilmington. I was wondering if we would have to end up buying a new battery but that was a question for the techs at Howard’s.

As soon as we got to Howard’s they went right to work trying to diagnose the problem. Jerry stayed outside with them and I went inside to the warm lounge. Jerry kept popping in to give me updates. First they realized that a fuse had blown and we thought it might be a really quick and easy fix. Well, that was quickly remedied but we still had the problem of the water pump. They didn’t know if it had frozen or if it was just a valve. Dealing with a time crunch as they were closing at 12:00 due to the big snow on the way Jerry recommended putting one of our little heaters in the bin to see if the valve would thaw out or if it was really a frozen pump. Praise God, it thawed the valve and we were good to go. As the techs said, we dodged a big expensive bullet! We found out that putting the two heaters in the coach while we were plugged in at home we had actually caused the problem. Because the inside temperature was so warm the heat did not come on. Besides heating the inside when the furnace is on it is also heating the bins and the tanks preventing any freezing so in trying to be proactive we caused what could have been a rather expensive problem.

I cannot say enough nice things about the people at Howard’s. Everyone that we ran into was so gracious and willing to do whatever was necessary to get us on the road. I have always said if we bought another coach I would want a Newmar but would be hesitant to buy one due to lack of service availability in our area. How surprised were we when we found out that Howard’s was an authorized Newmar repair center and it’s only a couple of hours or less from our home. Add to that their willingness to help when there’s an immediate problem plus as we have found out in earlier encounters with them they call with updates and cost estimates. We are very fortunate to have a dealer of that caliber in our area.

About 10:45 we headed out for Morrilton, Arkansas and Petit Jean State Park with two overnight stops along the way. Travel was non eventful and as we continued along I began to look for somewhere to overnight. Unfortunately there were no Harvest Hosts sites on our route so I began to look for a Walmart. I called the Walmart in Hickory and received permission to stay there for the night. We arrived a bit before 4:00, early for us to be getting off the road but we didn’t know where the next overnight Walmart was plus we had been up and going since 5:00 am. We walked over to the store and again asked permission to stay, then did a bit of shopping. Since I had been unable to get the stew beef going in the crockpot we had no plans for dinner. There were no appetizing restaurants nearby so Jerry suggested taking out some of our chicken and making chicken salad. Sounded like a plan to me!

I had a delightful dinner of chicken salad, carrots and chips (yeah, I know I should have left off the chips) and Jerry had a couple of sandwiches with chips. After dinner we closed up everything and turned in early. We both heard some noisy cars early on but if there were any during the night I never heard them! As the saying goes, I slept like a baby!

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