Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Friday, August 22, 2014


At Big Country RV Park, Abilene, Texas…

Before lurching away from our little manse near Fort Worth, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not checked Phannie's battery water levels in a while. So, I grabbed some distilled water and my Pro-Fil bulb and connector tubing and gave the house batteries a drink. 

Here's a photo of me servicing the batteries the easy way; I just put the tube in the water jug and squeeze the bulb until it resists any more squeezing. The water goes throughout the manifold to all the battery cells without overfilling them.  Easy peasy!  (If they gave college degrees for doing things the easy way, I would have a PhD for sure.)

Those batteries were thirsty!  Look how much water they took, and it really hadn't been that long since the last check and fill.  Must be the hot weather:

I am just waiting for these coach batteries to play out so I can replace them with AGM batteries that will not require irrigating. I will have to really feed my piggy bank, unfortunately, because the AGMs are not cheap!

Until then, however, I would not want to be without my Pro-Fil battery irrigation system. Phannie's battery tray does not pull out (bad design), so watering them without Pro-Fil is a total pain.  (Takes two of these Pro-Fil manifolds for the four batteries.)

Okay, I digress; back to today's journey:

If you are familiar with Texas geography, you may wonder why we're going from Fort Worth to Colorado Springs via Abilene. You would be justified in your curiosity, because Abilene is somewhat offset from a straight line between the two cities. Two words: Miss Allen's.  I'll have more on this in a later post; sorry for the tease.

It was a hot trek this August afternoon on I-20.  The outside air temperature readout varied from 99 to 102 for the entire trip. To make matters worse, it was quite windy, and big motorhomes require quite a bit more attention by the driver when wind gusts are broadsiding the rig.  Phannie is no different, and I was ready to shut down in the RV park just on the outskirts of Abilene.  Fortunately, we didn't have to run the generator and roof airs en route. Tiffin did a good job with the dash air in our Phaeton; it has a very high volume blower and six outlets for the front seats. This setup provides sufficient cooling in all but the most extreme hot weather.

The topography in this area, as in most of west Texas, is not what you would call particularly scenic. It is even less so these days because of the awful drought. The scrubby vegetation and grass are incredibly dry and brown, and when you exit the pavement onto dirt and gravel--which, regrettably, constitutes the driving areas in Abilene RV parks--the dust is powdery and plentiful. Here is a photo of poor Mae after a short drive to our parking space at Big Country RV Park:

I may have to rethink Abilene as a stop on our trips.  We really try to avoid dusty and muddy unpaved parks, but sometimes we have no choice. (Gosh, that sounds a little snobbish, doesn't it?) Sorry, but we don't apologize for much these days. 
We had dinner at the Seafood Tavern in Abilene.  Pretty good, but we erred in ordering some fried selections. The seafood was good, but we didn't care for the beer batter; it was too heavy and greasy. Fortunately, Sandy and I had split an entree, so it was manageable because of the small portions we ate.  It was probably not the best idea to go to a seafood restaurant so far from ANY water, but it had been recommended to us and had very good Yelp reviews.  On a positive note, the service was excellent.  We might go back, but we certainly wouldn't order anything fried.

Tomorrow we stop at Miss Allen's. We will elucidate in the next post, so be patient. 


  1. Jim is beside himself with excitement at getting back to seafood country when we get to Virginia. That is the one thing he misses being out here in the west. But not fried stuff. I've not heard of Miss Allen's so I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion of the Pro-Fill! You are so right about seafood in coastal just cannot be beat.

    It is so wonderful (not) to have a clean toad to begin with and have it all dusty when we stop. We have yet to see a car wash here in small town Iowa.

  3. No the AGMs aren't cheap, but we're glad we got them last year when we were getting the Phaeton road-ready for fulltiming ... they do hold their charge better, too.

  4. Can't wait to hear about Miss Allens


I appreciate comments and read every one of them. If your Blogger settings allow, I will happily respond.