Saturday, February 6, 2016

January 17, 2016 - Tampa, FL to Old Town, FL

Much to our relief when we saw it was not raining when we were getting ready to check out of the fairgrounds. It rained hard last night after we went to bed. 

BUT BUT…. Houston, we've got a problem!  The slideout for the bedroom would NOT retract!!! Erwin could hear the motor churning, but it just would not close.  Oh we don’t need that problem because we needed to be out of the fairgrounds before 5 pm and the sky started to look threatening again.

Erwin walked over to the tent to see if there were service technicians who might still be around to come and check.  No, they went home!  Two fellow campers came over and tried to help, but there wasn't much they could do.  We tried almost everything we could think of.  Another guy came over and told Erwin to call Newmar Service department, which he did.  

It just happened that there was one service technican, Elmer Yoder, who was still around and he came over to see if he could fix the problem.  After checking and rechecking the motor controller it seemed that it got burnt out and it just happened that there was that old motor controller that was replaced, was still there in the compartment. Elmer decided to try to see if the old one would work and it DID!  What a big relief!  Finally we were able to close the bedroom slideout.  

Edith hurriedly drove to the RV show because she wanted to find information on the campground app for IPhone and IPad. The place was not as crowded as it was the last 4 days and today is the last day.  She found a booth that had a display with the information on the app.

Our initial plan was to go south to Venice, FL and stay there for few days, but we were running low on cash and chose to go north.  We discussed and decided to go to Old Town, FL where our dear friends, Gracie and Jerry live and visit with them for a day or two.  

We finally left the fairgrounds around 11 am, got on I-75 N.  The sun started to break through the thick clouds. The wind was fierce and unforgiving and Erwin had a hard time keeping the Lil' Home inside the lane.

We pulled into a rest area near Exit 309 to fix lunch. We were very hungry because we had not had breakfast this morning.  We were too upset to eat breakfast with the problem that was happening.  We rested a bit and Erwin made some phone calls before we got back on I-75.

We did not know about the unusual EF2 tornado that touched down  in Duette, FL, 65 miles south of Tampa until our friend, Patty emailed and asked us if we were okay through the storm.  We were grateful that it did not happen where we were, but felt bad for the affected ones. 17,000 homes were without power and we saw lots of trucks from power companies going on I-75 South.

Gracie was in the living room when Edith walked in to surprise her. Yeah, she was surprised!  Edith told her of the change in the trip plan and decided to stop by before heading to Horseshoe Beach, FL.  She mentioned that she and Jerry were going to Horseshoe Beach Tuesday and stay there for a week.

After supper we went over to the house, spent the night chatting with Gracie & Jerry and watching America’s Funniest Videos show on TV.

Erwin went to bed very early. He was really worn out due to lack of sleep Saturday night because of the bad storm and lightning.  Edith stayed up to check on emails, Facebook, news. 

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