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Old 01-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Artstream
I see a Family Truckster in your future

OMG, I love this picture!!!

Laura Miss Rivette 2008
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:18 AM   #30
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HI ALL! I apologize for neglecting my post.

Our first response to the post was like being hit in the head with a brick.
Originally Posted by pmclemore
Hot, this would be a great beginning for a humorous story, but I fear you are serious.

My sympathies in advance.

Um.....[somewhat speechless] Why yes, we are serious.

"Honey, I think we've been diluting ourselves...."

We've had the wagon now for 6 months and taken MANY weekend trips, camper in tow. Until I read Pat's post, conversation inside the wagon while traveling went kinda like this:

Ron: Our wagon and camper are so groovy. We're so cool, darling. She looks sweet pulling the Minuet! Just think, if we hadn't had catastrophic engine failure in our Jimmy, we wouldn't know such bliss. Boy, what a stroke of good luck."
Tracy: Right on, Honey! We ARE cool. (she turns to see the backs of the heads of their perfect children, now smiling and waving at people on the road from rear-facing seats)
Ron: Look at how every head turns as we drive by [he smiles and flashes a peace sign at a group of people staring from the road]. I bet they're thinking how cool we are.
Tracy: Oh, baby. We're so lucky. Everyone wants to be us. [she fidgets with her woven leather headband, then blows a kiss at the starers]
Ron: Would ya mind grabbing me a Fresca and some beef jerky?
[They drive off into the sunset and live happily ever after]

Could it be the frequent starers aren't admirers? Could it be they're thinking we're just plain nuts? ....or traveling by time machine.

Since a new tow vehicle is completely out of the queston (question being budget) I've been busy focusing on positive thoughts, filling my luck box, and hunting down photos of Wally for our shrine.

Our trip to Wally World, umn, I mean DISNEY World is coming quick. We have taken the wagon out on many trips and she's been great. Our luck box overfloweth since we have added a new temp. gage, new belt (yes, that is singular - weird,eh?), trans cooler, some other parts I can't worry my pretty little head over, and today she is having the brakes rewired (my husband wasn't happy with the original Pep-boys wiring) and airbags added (some sort of shock thing, again the pretty little head thing). The Argosy has brand new TRAILER tires (so long mismatched car tires! we've had some good times). I have roadside assistance through State Farm on both Camper and Vehicle and am considering Good Sam.

The free mechanic says our little Dragin' Wagon is a regular "cream puff." A well loved 1991, one owner (verified with carfax) little beauty with every detail documented of her maintenance history in a log in the glovebox with a mere 85,000 miles. Mechanic has no doubt she will make the trip - even suggested we garage her for the winters to maintain her condition. Is he kidding? And this winter has put the wagon to the test. 3 freezing cold days parked in the driveway at a time, brush off the snow, she fires right up. And here's the weird thing.....everything works. I've never had a more reliable car including the time I bought brand new.

I'm feeling really good about this trip, now. Thank you all for your well wishes, great advice, karma, predictions, and sympathies in advance. I will get back to you with our stories of adventure, whether uneventful or full of excitement. I'm prepared to make lemonaid if necessary (*Thinking* maybe we could setup a roadside lemonaid stand......make some $ while we wait for rescue..... hmmm......misfortune turns fortune....pondering). We'll take the good with the bad and have a wonderful trip.
Thanks again and Happy Trails!
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:54 PM   #31
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One more try for the photo:
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:21 PM   #32
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I love those wagons. My thought was to get something reliable and have it checked out before going. I drove my Honda Element from Sonoma County to Boston and back, via route 66 and the desert last summer, 8000 miles without a hitch. Get your rig checked out thoroughly before leaving, and you'll have peace of mind at the beginning. Don't laugh, but take stuff to enjoy if you get stuck- martini makings, twister, cds, and make the most of it. I speak from experience. May your trip be safe and relaxing.
Wherever you go, there you are
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:29 PM   #33
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I am sure you have had all the "bad luck" in the past and the trip will be uneventful, except for loads of fun!

I agree with azflycaster, check into good towing service. One that will give you towing for both the vehicle and trailer! We carry AAA in addition to our "regular" auto insurance for this very reason. Our cost is about $100 a year and they also have great maps, books, services to members like registration renewals, trip planning, etc. at no additional charge. I am sure we get our $100 a year back in maps alone!

Good luck, and have fun!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #34
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Well, it seems that the only time I have bad luck on the road towing my trailer is when the wife is with me. Electrical problems in the power cord of my '77 Excella 500 prevented A/C use in 90 degree weather but only when the wife wanted to camp at the lake. That was resolved two days later when we came back home. Brake/bearing/tire failure in the '86 Sovereign on the way to VA. layed us up all day, night and the next morning in the parking lot of an RV dealer who had to order parts. That took out 2 days of sightseeing for the planned trip but we did get to attend the wedding which was the main attraction, at least for my wife. She now wants to go sluicing for gemstones at the Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, N.C. I'm just wondering what this adventure will bring.

I have learned to prepare mechanically in areas alreadly mentioned in previous posts. I'm already set up for a day or 2 delay with fridge running, ice in cooler, stocked bar, enough food, cokes and water for more than 3 days. Solar will keep the battery up and a deck of cards along with a few board games might keep me busy. I'm not one to wait until I get where I'm going to buy food because I've seen the handwriting on the wall. No amount of cussing, ranting and raving (Yes , I've done all 3) will fix a breakdown so roll with the punches. Remember, you are the only one in charge of your own morale. Make the best out of the situation and you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

I wish you the best of luck and have a good time. Those perfect kids will grow up one day and you can't get them to go anywhere with you.

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Old 01-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #35
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Don't Worry About It!

Oh heck, as I tell my young consultants, “never let them see you sweat”. I have been flooded, stormed, blow an transmission in the middle of no place ND, had the truck shut off in the middle of the highway, had stuff stuck in the drive shaft of my wife’s car, and other stuff I can't remember right now, never never let them see you sweat!

Take what the Travel Gods give you and keep going. If I gave up on traveling because of vehicle problems I would be stuck in WI the rest of my life, and who could take that?

Go out, again and again, sometime the trip will end up uneventful and unrememberable. (is that a word?). The cool thing is that the problems you remember and make you stronger, who said travel is easy?

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Old 01-29-2008, 08:26 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Ganglin
Consulted with the master:

- the answer is "it was a blast"

- the question (stored in a jar on Funk & Wagnalls porch) is:

"how was your trip to Disney..?"

Made my day. Loved that guy. Funk and Wagnall's porch? LMAO!
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:39 PM   #37
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Hubby and I had problems like that once. A Friend made us a guardian angel to hang from the rear view mirror. It stopped as long as she was in the window we were OK. She fell down one time I was late putting her back and 4 things happened. Then I remembered her and put her back up. I will never be without her again.
And that's the truth.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:19 PM   #38
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Preparation... from the less mundane.

The Zen of avoiding roadway catastrophe and embracing its better half…

Now some folks might tell you to “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”.
You know that’s just hogwash. The Road-trip Gods laugh at that phrase and really roll when they watch human efforts to put this foible into practice.
Consider the following food for thought; just a few simple strategies that might distract your mind from any thoughtful preparations.
Don’t forget, over prepared travelers expose themselves to numerous calamities; most are related to things they probably chose to forego.

Take these precautions to toughen the soul and maybe the tush.
Remember, a tough soul comes in handy when in dire straits and trying to deal with what should have been foreseen. The tough tush minimizes pain as the spouse reacts with swift kicks.

Prepare their minds, the equipment will take care of itself:
Exercise #1. Practice lack of privacy. For 7 days prior to departure have the whole family sleep in one room. Pets do not need to participate in this exercise. They know when something bad is going to happen but never tell. After this little warm-up you may decide to save the vacation time or stay home and paint the den.
2. Act (if you need to “act”) a little mental. The Road-trip Gods get confused when observing children & fools. Keeping this up for the trip’s duration is the best Zen you can get but the family may kill you.
3. Get into a row with a neighbor. Name calling helps. This will thicken the pre-departure air and make the neighbor pray you never return. But you and the pets know better. Fate is on your side.

On the road:
Exercise #1. (Don’t forget lot’s of paper and pencils) Before you reach the end of your street assign someone to keep a list of everything that was forgotten during the last week of packing. Trust me, this will come up every few minutes. Keeping this particular list is a perfect way to calm the mind and worry only about the past, not what lies ahead.
2. After the first hour have each family member start writing an essay on why they love to go camping. Any mechanical failures will be welcomed relief from this assignment.
3. After (but only after) the essays are completed and read aloud you can move into the verbal trials. Everyone take turns making associations with their own personality traits and some aspect of camping. (use your imagination, I don’t have any examples)
You should be across the first state line by now.
4. Just when it feels like things are getting normal, rank order the items on the “Forgot” list. The top 5 items are the only items to be picked up at Walmart. This will make folks wish you had several flat tires to fix but we know that it is the reverse that works. No one ever gets what they wish for. Except the pets.
5. At about the time you reach the point of no return (in your case I would make that just before crossing the Mason/Dixie Line), start the security discussion. This should focus primarily on ridiculous things like code words to be used while in the company of non-family members and the secret knock on the Airstream door before coming in. You can always substitute educational stuff like plant identification or horoscope stuff if the kids are still in diapers.

You should be well on your way down the old highway and becoming almost lethargic to the idea of anything unexpected. Realizing that you have not looked at dash gauges for a full hour is a sure sign that things are being taken for granted. Being lethargic is one thing, but this is not the time to get lazy.
Getting to your final destination is completely dependent on your energy level and commitment to be smarter than all those gremlins. Yes, that ‘Family Plan’ wagon of yours has gremlins. They just haven’t started messing with things yet. They may be waiting for the return trip home.
6. Why worry about mechanical failures anyway? There is every likelihood that the whole family will be suffering from post-camping traumatic stress disorder; largely based on all the dysfunctional behavior prescribed above.
What could a good guy do but volunteer to personally counsel anyone who returns home with any abnormal levels of anxiety, aggressiveness, or a need to embrace separatism. That’s right… be a Dad.


To guarantee the real deal on trip karma and the Zen of trouble free travel I would embrace full fluid levels, appropriate air pressure, fancy food in the cooler, clean credit card, & better than average brake controller. Oh, and don’t forget to raise the jack.

Happy Trails,
Travelers by aluminum roadships, loyalists to one species,
masters of convenience, herdsmen steeped in maintenance and restoration.

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Old 01-30-2008, 10:36 PM   #39
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That was excellent em. Nice advice. I personally also like Bob Marley's advice, "Don't worry be happy".
Different strokes for different folks!

I never learned from a man who agreed with me.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:12 AM   #40
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THis is the best advice yet......

MOM: How do I know that’s really you out there, Andrew?

ANDREW: MOM! It’s me! Please let me in [he stomps his little feet in the dirt and scrunches his face in that cute way he does when he throws a fit]

MOM: uh-Uh-uuuuUUuh. You didn’t use the secret door knock. Remember when we drove through Atlanta we all agreed to use secret door knock to gain access to the camper?

ANDREW: I remember that, mom. But I don’t remember the knock.

MOM: How do I know you’re not an imposter? Hmmmm? For security reasons, I cannot let you in.

ANDREW: But I finished my essay and I want to read it to you!

This is going to be fun......
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:30 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by hotLAVA
Ron: Look at how every head turns as we drive by [he smiles and flashes a peace sign at a group of people staring from the road]. I bet they're thinking how cool we are.
I feel ya here. We got lots of head turns on our trip to FL [our first REAL trip with this TV]. We made it there and back with only a few minor (don't worry be happy) issues.

I'm sure your trip will be a fun one. Happiness is a state of mind.

In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light. --- Hans Hofmann
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:36 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by aturner4u
I feel ya here. We got lots of head turns on our trip to FL [our first REAL trip with this TV]. We made it there and back with only a few minor (don't worry be happy) issues.

I'm sure your trip will be a fun one. Happiness is a state of mind.
Wow! what a beauty!
Is that an International Travelall?

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