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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ahhhhhhh………!!!!!!!!

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Rippling Waters CG – Romance, WV

We left Raleigh, NC at 10:00 am on Monday, May 9th, 2011 and headed for this lovely place 368 miles away…. over some really crappy WV highways (mostly the toll roads, what a $30 rip off) …..and really unenjoyable mountain roads in WV.

It was worth it when we finally arrived here about 7:30pm the same day.

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Lots of choices, lots of things to do, and a few glitches but all told, it was a good trip. Weather was great, and the temperatures were comfortable enough to travel with the windows open the whole way.

The things to do included:

  1. Fill with Fuel
  2. Weigh the whole rig with Smart on board and with Full Water and propane, empty grey/black and full fuel tanks.
  3. Weigh just the truck with full tanks and us in it.

Fuel was $3.93/gallon at FlyingJ Haw River, NC Exit 150 I-85/I-40 with my FlyingJ Frequent Fueler card ($.03/gallon discount – cash or credit) I was sure glad that I saw that post in the Escapees forums about their new discount policies.

The whole rig weighs 44,440 lbs. The truck is 24,500 with the Smart car loaded on it.

Some interesting facts about the setup:

CAT Scales 5/10/2011
Combined Truckonly Difference
Steer 10,880 11,980 (1,100)
Drive 18,080 12,520 5,560
Trailer 15,480 0 15,480
Gross 44,440 24,500 19,940
Pin Weight 4,460
Trailer 19,940
Tires Rating Combined Margin
6 3,042 18,252 2,772
Notes:
Smart Loaded only 2 gals
Truck Fuel tanks full
Trailer Water tank full
Trailer black/ Grey tanks empty
Refrigerator Full
Propane tanks Full
All other items are typical for our Full Time life.

All of that cost us an hour of travel time.

I have had a few hints that my marginal throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is getting worse, again and at the beginning of this trip, it was definitely causing some problems. I almost stopped at Central Carolina Trucks in Kernersville, NC to pick up a replacement but we just did not have the time and I was pretty sure that it would be ok the more it got used…. and it did get better.

Also, the fuel temperature sensor that was giving me intermittent error codes for the past several years seems to have been a poor electrical connection to it. When I had Clifford in to Speedco, in Kenly, NC last week for a standard PM, I had the mechanic unplug/plug it in a few times to clean the contacts before I replaced the sensor. That seems to have fixed it.

Since this was going to be the longest single day’s drive we have ever done with the full rig, I had made optional plans to stop either in Mayberry Campground in Mt Airy, NC or Camp Creek State CG in WV, if it was looking like we were getting too tired or it would be dark before we made it to Rippling Waters. From what I had read, the road going in was only about 4 miles long but it was very narrow, crooked and hilly.

It turns out that this is true. It is almost a sidewalk with a double yellow line down the middle. It is clear that no dirt was shaved or filled in the process of making this road and it is necessary to spend most of the drive somewhere in the middle or on the wrong side of the road in order to keep all tires on the pavement around the sharp turns.

Staying on the pavement is also necessary as there is no shoulder and the edge of the blacktop rolls off into the ditches on both sides. Like I said, a sidewalk with a double yellow line. This is a place where having a pilot car to lead is definitely a desirable thing.

They have a number of long pull throughs but only 2 with FHU and I wanted a very long, hot shower. It turns out that two were available for 2 nights but we would have to move for one night (tonight) and then could move back the next day for the rest of our stay.

As you can see from some of the pictures, this site is excellent! Full view of the lake, fountains, chapel, Swans, ducks, manicured grounds, etc. through our living room windows.

Maybe it does not completely have the RV-Dreams “IT” factor but it certainly hits our “G-Spot” at $23/night.

We will spend the week and figure out where to go from here. We will have to go back to Raleigh for a bit before heading out west but it does not have to be right away so we are thinking maybe Tennessee COEs on an around-about trip back to RDU.

I am going to have to think about all this for awhile…. after a nap or two….

ttfn

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