Monday, May 4, 2015

Deep In The Heart of Texas



Braunig Lake RV Resort
13550 Donop RD
Elmendorf, TX 78112 (San Antonio)
GPS: 29.285599, -98.394054


Travel Day 4 – Lake Charles, LA to San Antonio, TX


Our refrigerator has a light that stays on when it has power and blinks in several different patterns to indicate different kinds of problems. Saturday when we got settled, I saw that it was blinking six times with a pause. I switched the unit over to gas but the blinking continued. The one rule for refrigerator problems is 'don't open the refrigerator'. The unit will stay cold for many hours without power if it remains closed. We obeyed that rule through Sunday. I made several attempts to identify the problem. I read the manual several times. It had answers for patterns of one, two, three, and four blinks but not for six. And the answers for three and four was "You can't fix this yourself, buddy, contact an authorized service technician." Have you ever noticed that is the answer for every technical problem on Sunday?

I slept fitfully, got up early, and searched the web for phone numbers for Norcold and a few "authorized service centers" along today's route. Then waited for the time Norcold would open. A telephone call to Norcold was successful but unsuccessful. That is I succeeded in reaching their Customer Service but they didn't have an answer for six blinks either. All I accomplished was to get a late start. Our pre–departure light check disclosed that our right rear brake light and turn signal was out.

This morning we were hungry, so I looked for a spot (using Scout and Yelp) for breakfast early and found one half a mile off I-10 one exit from our starting point. When we arrived there was no restaurant at the specified location and we were on a very narrow two lane road. We drove over 10 miles before finding a spot to turn around. Back to I-10 and a gas stop right at the entrance. There was our restaurant, right in the gas station.

After breakfast and on the road, I called Ron Hoover RV in Houston to see if we could get in without an appointment to have the refrigerator fixed and a new taillight bulb put in. They accommodated us. Driving through Houston, TX is an adventure. Doing it pulling the Cougar without a right turn signal is truly terrifying. The problem with the refrigerator turned out to be a broken wire. Hmmmm ... I–10 in Louisiana?

Our late start (0930), our misadventure getting lost, and our stop for repairs made the day which was the longest day by plan even longer – 382 miles and ten and a half hours. But we had to have one more incident. Moving briskly along I–10, we were apparently not brisk enough. An 18 wheeler passed us and blew a tire just as he was beside us. Have you ever watched a blowout happen just outside your car window? Alligators flying everywhere. We pulled over and checked our rig for damage from flying shrapnel. Fortunately there was none.

San Antonio has plenty of places for RVers to overnight. My three top choices were the Texas Air Museum (a Harvest Host location) and the military RV parks at Fort Sam Houston and Lackland AFB. By the time we were approaching San Antonio, all three were closed so I opted for a Passport America park. Braunig Lake RV Resort had spaces available and our arrival and setup was thankfully uneventful. This is a very nice RV Park.

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