Always tweaking something!


Day 6099
vaccine day 148
137 days into retirement

Geeze – 28 days since the last entry. Really have to work on that. Here’s a bullet list catch up:
1 – Working on the camper in the back yard. Sterilized fresh water tank, de-winterized water system, minor tweaks to the storage systems.

2 – Got the snow plow attachments taken off the truck. Don’t need it – the plan is to avoid snow as much as possible after NEXT spring. Used my Chevy Rewards points to get a toolbox for the truck bed. Opens up storage in the camper.

3 – Got scheduled for my commercial drivers license road test last Tuesday. Nailed the pre-flight inspection, nailed the offset backing and parallel parking (6 for 6 on parallel parking a freakin’ school bus!!). Failed the road test because I managed to violate a pedestrians right of way near the end of the test. I basically made a right turn in front of the pedestrian instead of waiting for them to cross. I have no defense for that bonehead move.

4 – On the way back from the failed road test, I scheduled another one for last Friday – all of 3 days later. Because I’d already passed the inspection & skills tests, all I had to do was the road course. Different town, different road course, very happy examiner because I didn’t need to do the first two parts. Nearly aced this test. Only fault was my speed got 1 or 2 mph over the limit a couple times. Examiner was ok with that as it was a very minor overage.
I am now an official school bus driver.

5 – After the successful road test, we took off on the shakedown cruise for the new camper. About a 70 mile trip. Planned the route using RV Trip Wizard, taking into account low bridges, tight turns and local weight limits. We are 13′ 6″ high, over 60 feet long and tip the scales at around 24,000 pounds. Learned the hard way that exporting the trip wizard map to Google maps so I can use it on my phone does not transfer the turn by turn directions. You only get a pretty blue line on a map. One could use it to navigate, but you have to manipulate the screen to zoom & pan. Not driver friendly activities. Cindy pulled up a map on her iPhone and we used that. Right up to the point where we came across a 12′ 11″ bridge clearance. Saw the warning soon enough that we could find a good spot for a U-turn & then referenced that pretty blue line of a map. Crisis averted, made it to camp only slightly delayed. AC units on the roof are safe.

Found 8 or 9 defects with the camper. Several are cosmetic things that I can resolve. The 3 worst problems are a missing O ring on the water filter. Leaked like a sieve when ever the water system was pressurized. Consequently, we only turned on the water pump for toilet flushing. When I get an O ring, I’ll get that fixed. Biggie #2 is an LED light strip that is supposed to be mounted under the rear awning. When we got to camp, it was flapping in the breeze. That’s a dealer fix. Biggie #3 – when leaving camp Sunday morning, stopped at the dump station to drain the waste tanks. Only used the front black tank, and used it gingerly at that (no morning constitutionals allowed) That black tank valve would not open. Gray tank drained fine, but now the camper is in the back yard with several gallons of waste. I have a honey bucket that will be able to hold what’s in the camper, so I’ll be playing with it this week. Hope it’s just a linkage issue. I’m afraid to ask about the wait time to get it in for service at the dealer. I’m hearing up to 6 weeks!

Gotta go out and get the yard mowed before the rain gets here. FIngers crossed!

6 responses

  1. margaret

    I could never be a bus driver I can’t parrell park a small car!
    Won’t that smell from sitting there for awhile? I know TMI
    Sounds like everything is going fine so far!! You will have to come visit when I get settled – no winter – come for a visit – park in the driveway 🙂

    May 3, 2021 at 1:53 pm

  2. margaret

    I can neither park it or spell it – ‘parallel’ Sorry ’bout that.

    May 3, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    • Brian

      When the tank dumping goes right, you never expose the juices to the air – everything stays contained in a hose or the actual dump tank. In the real world, yeah, it can get a little aromatic. There IS some tank conditioner involved, so it shouldn’t be too bad.

      I don’t know that we’d fit in your driveway, but we are considering hanging out in the DelMarVa area in the late spring once we really hit the road.

      Rest assured – I will NEVER parallel park a bus again!!! Glad to have that done.

      May 4, 2021 at 9:10 am

  3. At 13′ 6″ you’re going to have to be careful in a lot of places.

    May 3, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    • Brian

      Yup – truck routes for the most part. That’s why I bought into that RV Trip Wizard – it takes all that into account. Still, not 100% accurate, but it catches a lot of the hazards. Just got to get that turn by turn info integrated into Google.

      May 4, 2021 at 9:12 am

  4. Congratulations on passing your bus driver tests. As a taxpayer and pedestrian, I thank you.

    May 4, 2021 at 10:29 am

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