In the service bay...not where we expected to be today

Every now and then life takes you along roads which you didn’t expect to travel. Experience has taught me that it’s best to go with the flow of these things. After all, if everything is telling you to go in a certain direction, then you might want to follow that lead. I’ve found this philosophy can apply to major life decisions as well as the small things that come up on a daily basis and as it so happens, one those little kicks came our way today.

We were all ready you see. We had been planning for about a week to boondock in the Apalachicola National Forest. In fact, I was rather excited about it both because it would be way “out there” and second because…well…it’s darn cheap! Things, however just seemed to keep getting in the way. All this week the weather had been on the fritz. Days of rain and hard chill followed by only faint peaks of sun kept postponing our drive. Finally, this morning things seemed to take a turn for the better. The sun burst forth, the air warmed up and everything seemed prepped for the move. We happily packed up the RV, tucked in her jacks and got a-rolling on the road.

But alas…it was not meant to be…

Almost at once an alarm went off, the dash panel went berserk and the beast told us we had an Alternator Failure. “A what?” was my first thought. My second was “DRAT….! Call up the bleeding roadside assistance”. As it turns out the alternator is a charging device that maintains the electrical system and having it fail means, amongst other things, that you might not be able to start the RV next time you try. Not really an ideal situation for a home on the move.

Southern Truck and Trailer -> good people!

Thanks to Good Sam’s Platinum Roadside Assistance (which we’ve been quite happy with, by the way) we located a shop (Southern Specialized Truck and Trailer Service) a mere 25 miles away in Lake City, who turned out to be excellent people. They took us in immediately, spent over an hour and a half checking the alternator, the batteries and even the dash panel and charged us just one hour for the whole thing. In the end the alternator was fine and we decided condensation from the last 3 days of chill (and running the furnace) might have messed with the dash panel. With only a minor charge from the mechanics we flew off without the alarm going off, and thus much, much happier.

The time spent, however had thrown the boondocking idea out the window and we opted instead to stop over at Stephen Foster State Park just 10 miles away. We arrived at ~4PM, a lovely large spot just happened to be available and church bells welcomed our entry to the park. Now, if that ain’t serendipity, I don’t know what is. Our first impressions are that this place is excellent and I’m quite happy our day led us here despite the unexpected turn in the road. Also, seems the weather is turning south again with the rain and chill coming in overnight which would have made boondocking a rather muddy, frosty affair. So, I’ll take the path that was given and quite happily walk along to wherever it might go. That’s life, after all….

11 Responses to An Unexpected Turn in the Road

  1. Daniel says:

    I can’t agree with you more,but I like the unexpected it brings color into my life and excitement, and when it turns out to be GOOD then it is a BALL.
    I like always to see beyond the next mountain…..

  2. Scott says:

    Glad to hear things where minor, and also I think you will enjoy Stephen Foster State Park. Alot of History there. No it is not Boondocking though. If you are ever in that area around Christmas Time, Stephen Foster is a neat place to stay, they do a light display and all. Happy Trails

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit this park is LOVELY! Soooo much to explore here. I can just imagine how pretty Christmas must be. Nina

  3. The road to unexpected service need is certainly not “the road less traveled by!!” We’ve all been there a number of times. Our first year out (with my mother-in-law bedded on the couch in the slide out), the slide out refused to slide out more than 8 inches. And refused to slide back in at all! M-I-L didn’t sleep well, and we had to drive 65 miles the next morning, nearly half of that on Interstate, with the slide sticking out in order to get the hydraulic motor replaced! Don’t even get us started on the issue of blowouts way out there somewhere!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Haha, you’re so right. I guess the correct title for a post about landing in the service bay should have been “an expected turn in the road”. It’s not a question of if, but of when…:) ! Your story about the stuck slide is pretty amazing…must have been quite the event to drive down the Interstate with that thing…wow! We haven’t yet (fingers and paws crossed) had a blow-out, but I know that day will probably come too. Nina

  4. Bob McLean says:

    Too many gadgets, bells and whistles!
    And I mean that in a good way. I suppose.
    It’s not so much the notion of having to deal with some sort of “problem”, whether real or imagined, but the gut wrenching, heart-stopping bleating from various audible torture devices telling you have said “problem”.
    We are currently driving a vehicle with “run flat tires”. (We certainly didn’t order the car that way. Anyway, here in Austria the use of winter tires is a requirement, so every single time the wheels get changed out, I have to go through this long winded resetting of the sensors. Of course, the first time it happened, I just about cr*pped, but at least now I know what to expect.
    It’s really peachy keen that I can check the condition of the tires from inside the car but really, I have no qualms about using a pressure gauge. I suppose though I’m in the minority.
    Nice to see you were at least on your way, even if it was after a delay and being slightly lighter in the pocketbook.
    Keep it between the ditches.

    Bob.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’m with you, Bob…sometimes the machine can get in the way :) We check our tires manually, but have been eyeing the pressure sensors…yet another piece of equipment that can go wrong, but also a really cool feature. Isn’t that always the case? Nina

  5. [...] twist in the road landed us for a few days in the small town of White Springs, FL . This turned out to be a [...]

  6. Lynne says:

    “Breaky breaky!” (the now famous mayhem character from the Allstate commercials. We got all our breaky breaky done in the beginning so that we really know our rig much better now. Having it in a Lemon Law lawsuit turned out to have a bright side. It taught us to simplify and to be very flexible always. A good lesson in life overall. I think we gave you guys in the Lower 48 our most brutal weather. The redpolls finally showed up today –2 weeks late to the feeders. Been a strange thing to watch your weather from our vantage point. Drive safe.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Going with the flow is certainly a lesson well learnt! And yes, it’s been an interesting winter. Looks like it’s warming up now (at least where we’re currently at), but I’m sure there’s more to come. Nina

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