While the work on an RV is never finished, especially a school bus conversion, we managed to get a number of items on Adam’s list done before heading north again. The process to mount and connect the 2 large solar panels played out over several days where the temperatures soared into the 80’s and then plunged to the 30’s. The cold front brought lots of rain (and even a tornado warning), but the inside of the bus stayed dry, confirming a good job on sealing the new holes in the roof. Since the roof is rounded and solar panels are flat, Dave and Adam mounted them on 2 x 4’s which were then installed on the roof.
Beside the roof, one of the most vulnerable spots on an RV is the slides. Getting debris jammed into the mechanism can affect their ability to move. While a slide that won’t go out makes life cramped, a slide that won’t come back in can strand you. (Unless you want to have a “wide load” vehicle follow you.) To help keep the roof of the slide clean, a common solution is to install an awning that deploys over the slide when it moves out and retracts as it moves in. We had wanted to have these installed before our Cougar was delivered, but there were none in stock at the time.
The difference in performance for Adam’s trip north began to be apparent the first day. We headed out together mid-morning on Tuesday, March 23rd. We set a more leisurely pace to accommodate the governor on Adam’s RV, a leftover from its previous life as a school bus. The new tires made the bus more stable on the road, and he no longer had to white knuckle any passing semi’s. Then the improvement in fuel mileage became apparent as the distance between stops kept increasing each day, ultimately costing him less for the trip north than the trip south.
We had barely been back at the park, when we heard hammering nearby and had to investigate. Joe and Fred were making real progress on the garage used to store equipment for para-cycling training by the Paralyzed Veterans of America. As we were moving through the campground to our site, we saw Mary and Angie who had come to the park as Retail Hosts for March. And Tom and Debbie were there for a visit with their new RV. It was like a mini Cabin Work Week reunion.
To travel to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, we either had to travel to DC and down the DelMarVa peninsula or cross the mouth of the bay by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT). We opted for the latter, which is shorter and avoids the DC traffic. However, that meant we had to be prepared for a propane inspection to pass through the tunnels. Also, the CBBT crosses 19 miles of open water. When the winds are up, this can be dangerous for big vehicles like ours.
In the last week before leaving Jacksonville, we moved to a spot in the parking lot. Apparently this cardinal took offense. He kept tapping at our windows, frustrated that we never moved.