Monday, January 23, 2012
Sikeston, and some headaches
We rolled into Hinton RV Park in Sikeston, Missouri a few minutes before sundown. It is a few hundred yards from I-55, and on a state highway. Our site is pretty close to the road, so we will be lulled to sleep by the traffic noise. :)
We are seeing a pattern develop when we use a trailer for the first time. No matter how much thought, toil, and trouble we put into the advance preparation, good old Murphy has to get involved. So, what went wrong today?
Last night, I noticed that our brand new license plate, picked up at the dealer this month, expired last month. Great. It was issued 12/14/11, expiring 12/31/11. We had a temporary tag since October. Turns out the plate expiration was correct, but because it was issued so late, it didn't get on the list for mailing out renewal notices. And I had just assumed it was good for 2012. We had to stop and drop off something in Springfield today, so we paid a visit to the HQ of the Secy of State (DMV) Vehicle Services department. I have to say, they got me in and out in record time, no waiting, no fuss. So take that, Murphy!
We got to the campground, opened up the trailer, and stuff was all over the floor in the kitchen and the bedroom. It's a common trailering problem, but our last one didn't do it. Because of that we took our packing for granted. It's funny, because from the truck it seemed to be pulling nicely. Then, while vacuuming up the spilled salt, the vacuum cleaner stopped working. Damn you Murphy! Later, Terry opened an overhead cabinet while the dog was lounging below, and the glass door insert fell out and hit the dog. It didn't seem to hurt her, though, luckily.
By that time I had discovered that we have a badly leaking water fitting. Making it impossible to use either a city water hose hookup, or our self-contained water tank and pump. Anyone going potty tonight is going to flush with a bucket. I tried to disassemble the fitting but it beat me. I will be searching online and going after it again in the morning.
We had a stiff head wind today in Illinois. The fuel gauge was dropping like a rock, and we were only going about 62 MPH. First tank, 7.7 MPG. Ouch!!! I slowed down to about 57, and the next tank was 8.9. We have a small tank, so with those kind of numbers we don't even get 200 miles between stops. Dumb. Once we got into Missouri, the weather changed completely. It was sunny, much less windy, and in the mid-50s. The fuel needle behaved a lot better, even going 65 or so. For sure this tank's mileage is going to be double digits.
Diesel was 3.799 at home, 3.749 in McLean, IL, and 3.519 south of St. Louis. That last price was cheaper than their premium gas, which was a small victory.
Well, tomorrow we have a lot of reorganizing to do, and I've got to get this water thing fixed, even if we have to stop by the local RV place. We had hoped to hit the road and be in north Texas tomorrow night, but I think we have too much work to do first. We shall see.