Tag Archives: Motor Home

Debugged, Rebugged

The other morning, Herman decided that the motorhome needed a good washing. The coach, the car, and even our bicycles were covered in greasy roadspray from all the rain we had battled the last few days. So before we pulled out of Sulphur, Louisiana, he googled and found the number and location for  Super Scrubs Carwash, 50 miles along our route, in Beaumont, Texas.

Could they handle a vehicle 40-feet long and over 13-feet high? Sure. We get buses here all the time. Come on.

We put the address for Super Scrubs in the GPS as a “via point” on our way to Houston. It was a warm, sunny day . . . the first in a week. We had a relatively easy drive planned.  Why not?

 

Sign at the carwash: This Bay for Large Trucks

This Bay for Large Trucks

 

Well, first of all, Super Scrubs was self-serve. But we are nothing if not determined, so Herman swung the whole circus train around the parking lot, pulled the motorhome into the Large Truck bay, and bought twenty dollars worth of tokens: two dollars for two minutes of soap and or water.

 

Motorhome pulled into the truck wash bay

Fits Fine: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

 

At about six dollars into the project, he discovered that the hose apparatus connecting the soapy brush on the passenger side of the bay was too short to come around and lather the driver’s side. And vice versa with the rinsing wand opposite.

But he perservered.

At fourteen dollars in, he was sweating, sopping, and sick of it. And he was only this far along . . .

 

Half of motorhome, car, and bicycles hanging out the end of the Large Truck bay

Too Long

 

At sixteen dollars down he decided to call it quits. At least the front of the coach looked great. The windshield sparkled.

We got back on the road and ran smack into a swarm of some sort of copulating insects. They resembled fireflies, black with orange spots. Instead of glimmering like magical lanterns, they were rutting like mad rabbits. Midair. In pairs. Oblivious in their passion, they splatted into the glass and stuck like tar. Conjoined. Dozens of them.

“Well I hope it was worth it,” I told them, as Herman and I peered through what was beginning to look like a big, obscene Rorschach test.

Herman laughed. What else could he do? We agreed to add self-serve carwashes with Large Truck bays to our growing list of never-agains.

That evening, when we arrived in Houston, we got out the extra dishpan and scrubbed the afterglow off the front of the coach with Dawn and nonscratch scouring pads. It didn’t cost us any tokens.

 

Herman examines the afterglow of dozens of rutting insects

Srsly? Herman Examines the Afterglow of Dozens of Amorous Insects

What kind of conversation starter can you do with a story like that? Have YOU ever run into a swarm of amorous insects? Ever washed your own motorhome? Been to Beaumont, Texas? Anything will work as far as I’m concerned. I’d just enjoy hearing from you. Please leave a comment.

I Loathe Atlanta Traffic

Jones 40-foot motorhome with car and bicycles in tow

All Aboard the Circus Train

I am delighted—and surprised—to report that my husband, Herman, and I are still married and we have safely arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi, the first stay on our planned two-month motorhome trip West.

This is indeed good news, since to get here we had to drive through Atlanta.

I have a long, painful history with Atlanta traffic.

I once dissolved into hysterical tears after riding Interstate 75 in the red leather bucket passenger seat of my mother’s 1972 Chevrolet Camaro. Well, not in the bucket seat, exactly, but with my rear end braced two inches above it, both feet pressed tight against the floorboard and legs locked in a vain attempt to brake and slow down the car.

When I began to sob, my mother decelerated long enough to turn to me and say, “What in the world is wrong with you?” Then she hit the gas and roared up alongside another car whose female driver had cut her off a few minutes earlier—either in panic or self-defense.

Mother cranked down the driver’s side window. Manually. The Camaro didn’t have power-anything except a bucking bronco engine. She held onto the steering wheel with one hand (What? You need two?) stuck her head into the breeze and yelled at the offender, “You little vomit.”

Pulling herself back into the Camaro and gunning even harder, Mother passed on the right, doing at least 80.

When Herman and I came through The Big Peach this week, the traffic was more horrific than ever. The sky had already run out of cats and dogs to rain down on us and was hurling thunderbolts, huge splashing splats of water a bucket at a time, and a plague of frogs. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only about the frogs.

After forcing us onto a route straight through the city center, the GPS had suddenly gone ambiguous. Even though four out of five lefthand lanes were lit on the display screen, the woman in the box exhorted us to keep right, keep right on I-85 ahead.

“Which way?” Herman cried.

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” I wailed. “It’s so confusing.”

“I don’t’ care,” Herman barked. “Make a decision. We’re a team. I’m driving and you have to make a decision.”

He must have been truly frantic because that’s the first time I’ve heard that. No matter where we go, he has the same standing joke about me and my backseat (or technically, shotgun) driving. Our rig is as long as a transfer truck and completely unwieldy: A forty-foot long one-lane wide motorhome. A car hitched to that, dragging behind. And two bicycles perched on a carrier on the back the car.

Every time people see our circus train, they ask me, “Do you drive it?”

I smile like Mona Lisa and turn to Herman.

“Oh yes,” he says. “We took a 6,000 mile trip a couple of years back and she drove all the way.” He pauses a beat. He has had a lot of practice with this particular routine and his timing is impeccable.

“Really?” his audience says, amazed.

I nod, conspiratorially.

“Oh yes. She drove every mile of the way,” Herman concludes, triumphantly. “I just held the steering wheel.”

Come to think of it, I guess we are a team, after all.

 Did this make you laugh? Make you cry like a little girl in a souped-up Chevy? I’d love your comments and memories below. Want to follow our progress across the country? Use the form at the right to subscribe to the blog. Or click one of the buttons on the right to follow me on Facebook or Twitter.  Thanks for reading!