Yesterday morning we got ready to leave Napa and head north. It still amazes me how much time it takes to pack up and get everything secure to move the RV. We spent most of the morning preparing to leave, and then I took Te out for a little break.
I thought we had to check out by noon. At 11:20 Te and I were down the street at McDonald’s when Brooke called, “Do you realize we are supposed to check out by 11:30?” Me, “Uhmm, I thought it was noon. I’ll be right there.”
So… I drove back, and we quickly loaded the scooter, bikes, and battened the hatches. We left the RV park at 11:45 – a miracle.
We fueled up, drove about a mile and a half, and returned the rental car – around 12:15 (it wasn’t due until 5:00)
We put a movie in for the boys – with headphones in the back bedroom with the blinds down and the curtains drawn which makes it pretty much like an isolation/sensory deprivation chamber – and prepared for our 6 hour drive north.
We drove approximately one mile and the brakes started to lock up. We turned a corner to get off the main road and they completely locked up right in front of Dominos Pizza. I spent about 20 minutes underneath the RV trying to trouble shoot it. No success. We called Brooke’s dad to ask some questions about where different parts of the brake system were located so we could check more stuff. And then about 45 minutes after the breakdown, I went to the back bedroom. The boys asked, “where are we?” I think they assumed we’d been traveling for hours and arrived somewhere new.
“The RV broke down,” I explained.
Te: “Can we get Pizza?”
Perfect timing, Te. “Yes, Buddy. Actually, pizza is one thing we can do right now.”
We’ll call that providence. So Brooke walked into Dominos and ordered 2 pizzas. This cracks me up because there’s no way from the isolation chamber they could see we were next to pizza. Did they smell it? Sixth sense? I don’t know.
I’ll spare you all the “Roadside Assistance” drama. I have tried not to name names on the blog or complain when things go wrong. But under NO circumstance should you ever use Allstate as your RV roadside assistance. Next time I’m going Triple A all the way. Allstate absolutely blows! They did locate someone a mile away from us that could look at it if we could get it there before 6:00 (it was 2:30 at the time and they couldn’t guarantee they could tow us by then). Really? 3 1/2 hours to travel one mile?
We called the rental car company back, but no luck – they closed at 2:00.
After several hours of being on and off hold with Allstate they basically told us there was nothing they could do for us. So I started the RV again and the brakes released. We nursed it toward the shop and as we pulled into the lot the brakes completely locked again – we didn’t even make it into the bay before it completely locked up, but at least we were off the road and in their lot.
The guy at the repair shop spent about an hour on it and basically said he’d have to work on it on Monday.
We realized we’d be here a few more days, so our first phone call = day camp. Yes they have room. Yes they’d love to have Mac and Te back next week.
The repair shop is less than a mile from the RV park we’ve been at all week. The guy got us mobile and we drove back to the RV park where we’ll park until Monday morning when it goes into the shop for the repairs. There’s a whole additional layer of logistics when your ride is also your house and you have a dog with you as well.
So five and a half hours later we were right back where we started that morning: #27 in the RV park. I laughed pretty hard. I thought, “If I wake up tomorrow with “I got you babe” on my alarm clock, I’ll start to be alarmed.”
There are worse places to be stuck than Napa for sure. The only danger is we might go broke buying wine and eating fantastic food, gain back all the weight we’ve lost on the trip, and become certified wine snobs. It’s going to be really difficult to go back to drinking $5 wine from the Riddle Market :-)
The big news of the day was this:
This morning we got our sweet little rental car back. Planned for kid day camp AND arranged for doggie day camp tomorrow (I never thought we’d be “those people,” but…) And started looking for dog-friendly hotels we can check into tomorrow night.
Who knows how long we’ll be here, but the grand adventure continues. This will most definitely alter our plans for the rest of the trip and change timelines and destinations, though we’re not certain exactly how. We’ll keep you posted.
Stay calm and carry on. I am also going to buy a sign I saw that said, “Poor Me… more wine!”