Away Again, January 2019

We winterized the coach early last November. This involves draining out all of the water system and replacing water with a freeze-proof RV antifreeze in all of the plumbing. While the coach sat in the barn for a couple months we ran the generator for a half hour and the AquaHot for about 20 minutes once a month. This is pretty much normal practice to keep things working well.

We also changed the primary and secondary fuel filters and the fuel pre-screen. I ordered spare filters, 2 each of the primary and secondary filters and a spare pre-screen. After our algae in the fuel problem last summer it seemed prudent.

Our trip south went from Hastings to just south of Kansas City, MO. An overnight at a Walmart gives us an opportunity to get last minute supplies and a place for some walking after a pretty long day, about 9 hours. The next day we headed for Maumelle Corps of Engineers Park just west of Little Rock. This was a 7 hour drive down through the Ozarks.

We stayed there two nights to flush out the water system, take on some water and just relax for a day. Chris and Elka Lang came for a visit. They live east of Little Rock and knew we were coming that way. Nice folks, they have a Foretravel too but just for a short while. The weather for this trip south was as good as it could be. Clear, dry roads, sunny, and warmer than normal for the season.

The next morning we headed to Nacogdoches, TX (about 4-1/2 hours) where we had service scheduled at Motorhomes of Texas and Xtreme Paint and Graphics. We stayed at the Foretravel factory campground.

Camp Foretravel. Lots of others here as well.

This red and white IH45 is a 45′ coach and is about 2′ taller than ours. More than 20,000 lbs more too. And about 10 times what we paid for ours.

Our friends Carol and Scott were there when we got there. Mike and Jackie live in Nacogdoches and we went over to their home for dinner to watch Clemson beat Alabama. Don Cox and his brother Randall were there as well.

That evening Amanda and Douglas also arrived in NAC. The next day Rudy and Carolyn drove up from Baytown near Houston and parked at Chappell and Mary Jordan’s RV barn.

The next evening we (along with Rudy and Carolyn, Amanda and Douglas, Carol and Scott, Mike and Jackie) went to Auntie Pasta’s for dinner. It was very good as it always is. Amanda and Douglas came to our coach later and we stayed up too late.

The next day we moved to Motorhomes of Texas where we were getting the oil and filters changed, the engine coolant and filters changed, a couple radiator hoses changed, the chassis lubed and both windshields replaced.

We had Trina, the upholstery specialist at MOT, make us a new wedge shaped pillow and a dash cover. Susan says the pillow is perfect. The dash cover is just what we wanted. It was nice to meet Trina and we appreciate the attention she paid to us to make sure we got just what we wanted.

We went to Chappell and Mary Jordan’s house to meet Rudy and Carolyn for dinner that evening, Chappell smoked a Boston Butt (I had to look it up, it is a pork shoulder most often used for pulled pork). They served it with coleslaw and baked beans and peach iced tea. Mary served a lemon meringue pie for desert along with coffee.

After the windshields were replaced we had to sit for at least a day to let the windshield glue set up. So what else, we went out for lunch at Butcher Boys, excellent hamburgers. Rudy and Carolyn, Mike and Jackie and Don Cox were there too.

That evening Keith Risch came over and “polished” our fuel and cleaned the fuel tank. All of the fuel gets pumped out of the tank, through a set of very fine filters and back into the tank for about a half hour. This cleans the fuel and agitates anything in the tank. Then most of the fuel is pumped out into a holding tank and the remaining fuel and any remaining sludge is pumped out and filtered. Finally the fuel is pumped back into the tank through the filters. The result is clean fuel and a clean tank. This whole process costs about the same as a complete set of filters.

Why does the fuel get contaminated? There is always just a bit of water in the fuel and more can come from condensation. The water sinks to the bottom of the tank and the diesel fuel floats on top of it. In the layer between fuel and water algae will grow and their waste products sink to the bottom of the tank. This is more of an issue in storage tanks at fuel stops where we buy fuel. Most of the time if our tank gets contaminated it is from the places we buy fuel.

On Friday we went with Mike and Jackie and Don and Randall Cox to the Mercantile Cafe for lunch, a local home cooking lunch buffet. It was quite good. That evening we went back over to Mike and Jackie’s for card games. Don Cox joined us as well as Kia, a student and basket ball player at Steven F Austin State University in Nacogdoches. She is from Denmark. We played Quidler and were treated with a home made bread pudding made by Jackie. Texas Blue Bell ice cream too if you wanted it.

Saturday I went to two SFA basketball games. The Lady Jacks played first and won easily. Then the Lumberjacks (men) played and it was a close physical game that they lost by only 2 points. It was fun. Susan went shopping.

Monday we are going to Xtreme for a gel coat touchup from our headlight conversion a few years back. It should only take a short while and then we are off to Lake Livingston.

When we got our coach we had no idea that in addition to the amazing places we would get to visit it was going to be the wonderful new friends we would make along the way. And that that would be the most surprising aspect of this lifestyle. Some of them live here in NAC and other places in TX and the rest are from all over the country. Many are full timers. This whole new diverse and dispersed community has made our lives better, much better. Thank you to all.

More Later, Much Love

Roger and Susan

A Tale of Two Tables

The table that came in our Foretravel was shaped like a football with the pointy ends clipped off.

This is a picture of the original table that the former owner sent when we were looking at the coach. It has a slide mounted on a fixed pedestal that lets you move the table toward the seat cushions or away. The thinking behind the curved edges was probably to make it easier to slip in behind the table and to provide a bit more clearance between the table and the kitchen when the slide was in.

It worked OK but was really crowded if you wanted four for dinner. We had seen a couple with rectangular tables of various shapes in this location so we decided it was time for a change.

As we do for most projects like this, the first step is a cardboard cutout in the shape and size we thought would work. A cardboard model is easy to shift around for placement and easy to trim as needed.

Then we went to a 1″ thick foam mockup. This added a thickness dimension. Some final trimming and we were ready to go.

The plan was always to make a cherry table. Cherry is in limited supply in my shop and we wanted to make sure it was going to work. I had plenty of black walnut on hand so I made the first version out of it.

Here it is in place. The coach sure looks different from the original pictures, much more colorful, much more ours. The walnut table looks quite dramatic.

This version slides in closer to the cushions than the football shape and, in the center of the table, had more clearance between the kitchen and the table. It is black walnut with breadboard ends and black pegs.

We could pull the table out and with our two folding chairs have plenty of room for four for dinner or games. With the table out for just the two of us we has room for dinner or a jigsaw puzzle or to sit at the far end facing forward to work on a laptop. With the table pushed in towards the cushions we could use the folding chairs and have dinner looking out the windows.

I posted a picture of this table on the Foretravel Owners Forum (ForeForums, ) and said it was a prototype that would get replaced. I heard from some folks in North Carolina within about 15 minutes who asked if they could have it. That was always my intention so it will soon find a new home.

After using this table we decided 1″ bigger in both direction would be nice and I wanted to see if I could move the pedestal base closer to the couch.

Here is the cherry table top. The small bowtie inlays are mesquite cut from a log I got in TexasThe square pegs and breadboard keys are made from ebony.

And I was able to modify the pedestal base and move it about 1-1/2″ closer to the cushion.

We got a new SW looking table runner that matches our place mats. The chicken came from a Fabric Arts Guild Center in Tillamook, OR.

Susan got a new coffee thermos which just happened to match a hot pad we got from my sister.

It looks wonderful. Susan is concerned about a scratch or dings. I am not. It is made to be used and enjoyed.

More later with Much Love,

Roger and Susan