to the tune of Leaving on a Jet Plane
Our big truck is packed, we’re ready to go
We’re standing here outside your door
We hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin’, it’s early morn
The trailer’s waiting, it’s hitched to the truck
Already we should be on up the road
[thanks to John Denver, 1966, Leaving On A Jet Plane]
Do you think of full-timers going part-time? We are making ready for traveling just three months before we return to NC. This is a way shorter odyssey than we normally embark upon, but takes as much preparation as traveling for a year. A breakdown is just as much problem no matter how many days or weeks we are on the road. The difference for us is what we can do without for three months versus taking EVERYTHING with us. Too much grandchildren stuff means we are leaving the 80-ball tennis tote until we return.
Just today we did all the season’s maintenance. It’s a long list, doesn’t look like one day’s work:
- Re-attached a loose propane gas line.
- Drained and re-filled the fresh water tank.
- Removed the 31′ Eagle-One antenna from the roof and re-installed the High Sierra antenna.
- Cleaned the solar panels and checked all attachments.
- Removed the gas bottles, batteries, and hitch from the trailer’s frame.
- Sanded and painted the trailer’s a-frame and hitch.
- Checked all tires pressures.
- Cleaned the truck’s windows so Deb will think the truck is clean.
- Reattached ends on battery cables
- We emptied and repacked the truck bed
I mentioned in earlier posts (March 2012, and April 2013) about problems with our crimped cable lugs. Today I removed all eight battery cables, drilled a 5/32″ hole in the lug’s end, and soldered thirteen crimped lugs. Two others I already had soldered and one (only one) was crimped so wonderfully there was no need or space for soldering. The process took an hour and is well worthwhile. All lugs of my battery cables are securely attached for both current conduction and mechanical integrity.
The truck bed is for this trip doing extra duty, now carrying a bed frame and rails for Vancouver grandchildren, and with printed materials for seminars and club activities we are involved in this summer. Our truck bed seems far more full, and the back seat is also full due to head, foot, and bunk ladder for the bed.
Our trip is across the USA to Vancouver BC and back. Along the way we plan to spend a week in Dayton OH for the world’s largest ham radio convention and show, a week in Jackson Center OH for Airstream factory service and Alumapalooza (a big rally), three weeks in Huron SD for WBCCI annual rally, two weeks in Vancouver BC to see grandchildren and help a little with their house, and then hightail it back to NC for Hannah’s wedding.
We’ve been in the Charlotte NC area almost three weeks. It has been a whirlwind. A wedding, a college graduation, family gatherings, Mothers Day visits, catching up with friends — we tried to make the most of our short time here. Another bene of only planning three months away — saying farewell seems a little easier.
We hope to see you down the road!