Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We have a picture on the TV in the Excel!

We bought the connector we needed, brought it back and Earl reconnected the loose wire. We then turned everything on, flipped the switch to turn the dome on, and soon we had a picture! We could hear the dome working, which we hadn't been able to do before.

Other than the problem with the satellite system, so far we've found only a couple of other small problems: we can't get the window above the kitchen sink open and the door to the bathroom needs to be adjusted because we have to really push on it to get it closed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We took Maxx back to the vet this morning to have another blood test done to see what his current Valley Fever titer is, order some more VF pills, and pick up another bottle of vitamins. Maxx has gained more weight...he weighs 24 pounds, 3 ounces which is just where he should be, so that's a good thing.

There's a vendor here in Q selling AGM batteries, so we stopped by to find out how much he was selling them for: $159 each, which is a good price for AGMs, since we've seen them for as high as $200 and I think they go higher than that. We bought 4 12-volts and will have them installed when we have the solar installed.

We thought that the two new stabilizer arms for the front of the fifth wheel were going to be shipped to us, but one of the installers called this morning, saying he had them and wanted to know if he could come by and make the replacement.

We also figured out what was wrong with the satellite system on our Excel (we have a Winegard Movin' View automatic dome on top of the RV and hadn't been able to tune in a picture)...a wire was loose in the wall switch which turns the dish on! We're were out looking for a new connector when Sarah and Richard Shong called saying they were doing some shopping at Tyson Wells and asked us to meet them and have lunch, so we put off getting the connector until tomorrow and went to visit with them. After lunch, they came back to our place to see the new Excel (they used to have one until they traded it in for a motorhome).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Since the people who are installing the stabilizers weren't going to be here until 2:00 PM, we drove over to Blythe to pick up items for the Excel from K-Mart: a towel rack and wastebasket for the bathroom, a cutlery container for one of the kitchen drawer, and several totes for the basement storage area.

The installers found that the front jacks on the Excel are closer together than most fifth wheels, so they had to cut a couple to make them fit. They called the manufacturer and are having two made-to-fit arms made which will be delivered to us. The system sure makes the fifth wheel stable, can push on the side, and it doesn't move at all!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Earl and I walked back over to the RV Show today to order the JT's Strong Arm Jack Stabilizers. They'll be put on tomorrow. I also bought a set of storage containers I'd seen on a previous visit, as well as some Pure Power, the black tank treatment we use. This particular dealer usually has a really good deal on Pure Power...last year and this, we bought 1 gallon plus 1 quart for around $25. We still have some left from last year, so what we bought today should last us for a while!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Earl ordered two Honda EU2000i generators. We already have the parallel kit to hook them together for those times when we'll need to run them at the same when we have to run the air conditioner when we're boondocking.

Ken and Debbie Toth, the couple who bought our New Horizons and Freightliner back in 2003, came by the house for a visit. For the second year in a row, Ken and Debbie are volunteering at the White Tank Mountains Regional Park west of Phoenix. We all went to dinner at La Casa Del Rancho where we had good food and conversation. Unfortunately, the service wasn't up to their usual...the cook apparently quit (reason unknown) and our waitress had to do the cooking.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We drove to Blythe this morning to take out-of-state delivery of our Excel. We appeared before a Notary to sign papers and then we hooked up the rig and brought it home!

We started loading stuff into it...fortunately, we have a few months to do so, because we have to figure out all over again where to put everything!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We got up early this morning, stopped by McDonald's to pick up breakfast, and then headed out to Mesa to see our new Excel and do a walk through. We hit Phoenix just at the end of the rush hour, so it took us about 2-1/2 - 3 hours to make the trip.

The rig is beautiful! We're really pleased with it, particularly considering that we'd never seen this particular model in person (and probably wouldn't have seen one with the King Suite even if the dealer had this model on their lot). We hooked up the truck to the fifth wheel to make sure that the hitch height and king pin length were OK -- they were, so nothing needed to be adjusted. Would have loved to take it home right then, but we have to wait until tomorrow to take out-of-state delivery in Blythe.

On our way back home, we stopped at the Costco in the East Valley (east of Sunfire RV) to do some shopping, and then headed south and west on Loop 202. This is a new section of freeway, and there was hardly any traffic on it until we got closer to I-10. We took the "back way" home, traveling AZ-238 from Maricopa to Gila Bend, stopping at an Arby's for lunch. At Gila Bend, we drove north on AZ-85 to I-10 and then back to Quartzsite. This route is considerably longer than going back through Phoenix, and, while it is a scenic drive, we probably won't take this route back to Quartzsite should the occasion arise to return to Mesa.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Earl and I walked over to the RV Show this afternoon (the "Big Tent" is only about 1/4 mile east of us and walking is much quicker and easier than trying to find a place to park).

We wanted to check out prices of the Honda EU2000i generator...found out that we can get them cheaper online than what they're selling them for at the RV Show!

We also saw a vendor selling JT's Strong Arm Jack Stabilizer. This is something that we've been considering getting, so we may come back after we get our Excel to purchase them and arrange to have them installed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry (adapted from a line in "To a Mouse," by Robert Burns).

The driver who was supposed to leave the Excel factory last Friday, was delayed due to weather so wasn't able to leave until Monday. The rig was delivered to the dealer late Tuesday afternoon, but when Denny called us on Wednesday morning, he said he couldn't deliver the rig to us yet because of a problem with one of the cabinets (I'm not quite clear on the details, but apparently poor QC before it left the factory).

Denny ordered the parts necessary to fix the problem (he said the dealership has a great woodworker). Ever optimistic, Denny said the parts would be in first thing in the morning and he'd call us around noon on Thursday. Of course, we didn't hear from him until Friday morning.

We will now drive over to Mesa Tuesday morning to do the walk through and then on Wednesday morning, a driver will tow the rig over to Blythe where we will take out-of-state delivery. So we should have our new fifth wheel sitting beside the house by Wednesday afternoon!

Hank didn't hold the open house on Monday morning, as originally planned. Monday morning dawned very cold (it was around 18 degrees when I got up) and remained cold the rest of the day. Hank figured, and we agreed, that there probably wouldn't be many people moving around, so we postponed the open house for later in the week.

We ended up having the open house on Wednesday afternoon. While Hank was at our place, we loaded Maxx into the truck and took off to Ehrenberg to drive the back way into Parker. We'd never driven this road before, so we figured it would be a good way to pass the time.

We stopped in Poston to view the monument built to remember the Japanese and Japanese Americans who lived in the three internment camps built on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation during WWII, as well as to remember those who fought and died in the war.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

We got a call from Denny at Sunfire RV in Mesa today saying that our Excel came off the line today and will be leaving the factory tomorrow. They expect delivery by sometime on Monday! It'll take them (Sunfire) a day or two for the PDI (pre-delivery inspection), so we're probably looking at going over for our walk through on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Denny said he'd call us on Monday to make arrangements for our walk through.

Of course, we won't be able to take it home with us then, because we have to take out-of-state delivery in Blythe (in order to avoid paying Arizona sales tax, which is higher that South Dakota's 3%). This consists of a driver hauling the rig over to Blythe, we all appear before a Notary to sign paper, and then we can hook up and take it home!

Hank (our realtor) came over to ask if it was OK to have an open house on Monday. Real estate has been really slow here this winter, so he's hoping that an open house might drum up some interest. Apparently, the people from Utah who were so hot to get down here to view our house and one other that their friends had previewed, are STILL in Utah!
Earl and took a drive down to the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge near Cibola, Arizona. In order to get to it from Quartzsite, you must drive to Blythe, California, drive south on Neighbors Blvd. (SR-78 for part of the distance), cross the Colorado River (at which point you're back in Arizona) and then continue south until the Refuge is reached.

We were looking at this Refuge, in particular, as a place to possibly volunteer in the future. They have 3 or 4 full hookup sites for volunteers...looks like it might be a nice place.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Today was my 61st birthday. Earl and I had pizza at Silly Al's and then went by the Rada Cutlery vendor to buy some new knives and other items for our Excel.

Yesterday, Earl drove over to the Goodyear dealer in Blythe to have the valve stems installed that we had purchased from the Tire Man in Ridgecrest, California (we'd had Chuck install similar valve stems on our Lazy Daze in 2004).