I checked out five different campgrounds in the rec area before settling on the San Pedro site. All are on the water, but some are rather close to the main highways, and some are quite a distance from town. San Pedro has a 1/2 mile gravel road, and about 35 campsites, and it is about 5 miles north of Del Rio. Strangely, the most units I saw in the campground at one time – including me and the host, was 4! I guess other people just can’t afford the extravagant $4.00 a night price .
The first morning I was visited by a Thanksgiving or Christmas mob of turkeys, some deer and a couple of hares.
The Amistad reservoir straddles the Mexican/US border, so they have warning signs up at the numerous boat launches to warn of customs requirements.
I watched this float plane take off and land a few times right out in front of the campground. But there was no pilot – it was a r/c model with a wing-span of 2-3 feet. Even the coots hardly got out of it’s way, even though it was fairly loud.
The first couple days here the weather was fine (as they say in Australia), warm and sunny, and I had to be concerned about leaving Hailey in the truck when in town – even with the windows down.
Then the cold weather arrived and I had to worry about her getting cold in the truck even with the windows rolled up.
Unlike earlier, it was not very nice to sit outside at any time during the day, especially at sunset.
I checked with the only local RV repair place I could find and was having not much luck getting a replacement drive for the ailing slide. I tried a couple of Skype calls to Forest River – I guess they were already closed in the eastern time zone. An e-mail elicited a response advising me to call a different manufacturer. So I did what I should have done in the first place. I took it off just to confirm that it in fact did not work. I hooked it up inside to power with no results. In case there was simply a loose wire causing the problem, I thought I might as well tear it apart and have a look! It was likely heading for the trash heap anyway, so what harm could I do?
No wires were loose, so I delved deeper and took the motor right apart, with the expected gaskets, washers, springs going in all directions. Then I noticed that only ONE of the two brushes on the motor had flown apart! The second one had corroded a bit from some moisture that had entered at some point and was not responding to it’s spring.
Hailey supervised the operation from her favourite drawer.
Sorry, no photos of the crucial parts of the surgery as my hands were covered in grease.
So I sprung the spring during open motor surgery, and managed to get all the intricate parts back in more or less the right spots, fastened it all together again, and presto – it works just fine again!
Then, I reinstalled it in it’s home under the slide and connected the wires again. Because of the cut wires, the wiring was getting a bit on the short side, and the only way to re-connect it again with the same wires was backwards, but that is not really a problem. You just press the ‘out’ control when you mean ‘in’ and vice versa! Later (when it is warm) I will splice in some more wire, even solder the connections, and correct the wiring.
Of course, I had already spent two days in Home Depot coming up with ingenious adapters to allow me to use my cordless drill to operate the mechanism if repairs were not forthcoming. The hand crank works just fine, but who wants to do that? So who knows how many hundred dollars and ‘down time’ that may have saved me. Ironically, this is one of those repairs that possibly could have been done by hitting it with a hammer in just the right spot! If it fails again, I’ll try that before taking it apart.
After careful and detailed analysis of the weather forecasts for areas south of here, it appears that either the Laredo or McAllen areas have the best chance of decent weather for the next few days, till the general warming trend arrives about Sunday. So, not having to wait around now for any RV parts to arrive, etc, I think the road will find me to a more southerly destination tomorrow. I may just have to see if I can sneak up on Wandering Willy again sometime soon! Gosh it’s great having a house with wheels!