Doc said it was okay to drive Phannie, and my busted foot doesn't have much pain now, so it didn't take us long to break camp in Rockport and get to an even more pleasant winter location here in Mercedes, not far from Padre Island. Llano Grande has become a favorite upscale south Texas resort, our having discovered it through friends Ed and Marilyn, who made it their winter hangout for several years.
|Typical spaces at Llano Grande
The other maintenance problem involved the refrigerator icemaker's water supply. The supply line fits onto the fill valve using a hose-type coupling with a neoprene washer. While we were out, this coupling began to leak and soaked the carpet in the dining area. Installing a new washer was an easy fix, but it has taken three days with a fan blowing on the carpet to dry it out. These repairs came on top of other earlier ones that involved replacing a windshield wiper arm assembly and blade (Tiffin had it in stock in Red Bay and got it to me in a couple of days) and a faucet at the bedroom sink. Both chores were expertly done by S.I.L. Tyler, when we were still in Houston. Thanks again, Ty!
I include the mention of these occurrences especially for readers who may be considering purchasing an RV. They illustrate typical problems that will be encountered when you are operating a complicated vehicle that is also a house. Things are going to break or wear out rather frequently, and you will have to deal with getting them fixed. It helps to be handy at this sort of thing, but it's not necessary. I am only minimally mechanically minded, but I am actually able to deal, however clumsily, with most of the minor discrepancies that come along. The major ones can always be fixed by professionals, but you usually need to have a well stocked wallet when you use them.
This brings up a question about extended warranties. I bought one with Phannie, but I wouldn't do it again. Since that warranty is about to expire, having had almost no claims on it, I'm not going to renew it. I have instead funded a maintenance account that I will add to at about $300 per month. Besides using it for repairs, I will also pay for routine service out of that fund. I know several RVers who have done this, and they agree it's a better deal for them than the extended warranty. They have even had their funds build up enough to buy extras for their rigs that they wouldn't otherwise have been able to justify. There's always the risk, of course, that something very expensive could go haywire before the fund is fully built up, but it only means we would have to tap other reserves that we wouldn't normally need to access.
Since I tend to treat Phannie like a baby and carefully follow the manufacturers' service schedule, I think the odds are pretty good that the near-perfect reliability of the engine, drive train and chassis will continue. I do think that a roadside service contract is a good value, however, so I rely on Coach Net for that.
We enjoyed our stay in the Corpus Christi area, especially since we missed the snow and ice that snarled everything near our Fort Worth area home. And yes, it's hard not to be smug as we enjoy the warm sunny days here in the Rio Grande Valley.
|On the beach at South Padre Island. No snow here!
Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful life You've given me. Please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough each day.