01 December, 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of Rosy the Argosy

Well, I'm not quite sure where we last left off in our story of Rosy the Argosy. I think in the last episode Rosy had just been introduced, and placed in her new home. Well, much has been happening in her saga since then. Let's see if I can recap briefly ...

After much debating about how to get Rosy from her old home to her new home (due largely to the fact that I neither have a towing capable vehicle, nor do I know how to drive such a beastly duo yet), I agreed to pay the seller to tow it here for me. We agreed on a day, but he declined to set a specific time stating that he never knows when the mood will strike him to hit the road. I asked him to call me when he is about an hour away from the new campsite. He mentioned that he may get a wild hair and head out at 5am - which would put him here at about 9:00am at the earliest. I set my alarm for 7:00am. I was awakened at 6:00am by the seller saying he's already arrived at the campground. He had apparently called me an hour earlier, but I slept right through it. No one was there to let him park the rig. He called the owner of the campground, and had some kind of awkward conversation which lead both parties to divulge to me, later, a slight dislike for the other. I finally met him out there. We finally hooked up with the campground manager, Jim, who helped us get parked and settled. The seller went over a few minor pieces of information about the rig, got paid, and returned home.

After connecting the power, I checked all the outlets and all the lights. They all work. YAY! I connected the water, and, with the help of Jim, got all the sinks, the shower, and the toilet working. YAY! I did a round of cleaning with my sister, and left for the night. When I returned the next day, I noticed a sizable leak in the plumbing system. UH OH. I turned off the water until I could have someone take a look at it. It's old copper piping. The downside: Not many plumbers will work with copper. The upside: Jim's son works with a plumber who does. I made an appointment for them to come take a look.

Meanwhile, I had a guy come out to take a look at the furnace. The campground owner, Tom, had already taken a quick look at my water heater, and discovered that the pilot assembly was faulty. The repairman replaced the pilot assembly on the water heater. That's fixed. Then he removed the furnace ... after much elbow grease and moans and groans and some nice passive aggressive comments aimed at me for my ridiculous insistence at buying an old airstream-made rig. He took the furnace with him to see if it will work properly with a mere cleaning or if I will have to replace it. He says he thinks he can just clean it, but can't say for sure. I am really hoping he can. This was just before the Thanksgiving holiday, so I won't be hearing from him until later this week.

When the plumbers came out just before the holiday, they tried welding the piece of pipe that was leaking, but it wouldn't take. Copper pipes, for those of you who don't already know, can get swollen and bloated over time. Once that happens, they will no longer fit together. This is the case here. So, the entire plumbing system needs to be replaced. Rather than removing the old copper, though, they will just put in a new system made of PEX. Apparently, this PEX piping is wonderful in that it can get old and freeze and such, and still fit together beautifully. It's either this, or not have any water in my new home, so I agreed to the work. The silver lining is that the furnace is already removed, so they will have ready access to the plumbing.

Monday, the plumbers started work. They were supposed to start in the morning, and be finished in a day. However, they got caught up at another job in the morning, and weren't able to make it over until late afternoon. They came back and completed the job today. When they got it all finished and turned on the water - and I started getting all happy and thinking about how wonderful it would be to start really moving into my new home - we discovered that the water heater has major leakage. It needs to be replaced. That's right: The water heater that I just had repaired has to be completely replaced. Good times. (Apparently, they couldn't test it before with full water pressure since I didn't have the plumbing fixed, so no one noticed it was leaking.) Tom called up Camping World (a large camping supply store located just this side of Winston-Salem) to see if he could get me the campground's discount on a new water heater. He arranged for them to hold it for me, and I'm going there tomorrow to pick it up. He also called up the repairman who has my furnace and arranged for him to come remove the old water heater, and install the new one ... all at a lower price than the plumbers quoted. The repairman, Dave, will be coming out on Thursday or Friday to do this, and will have checked out my furnace in the meantime. So, when he comes, I will also know whether or not I have a working furnace, or need to get a new one installed.

You might think I'd be pulling my hair out by now, but I'm not. Not yet, anyway. I must admit that I am glad this is all happening now - before I get moved in, and while I still have money. Now, once I do move in, I can trust that all the big systems are going to be working well for a good, long time.

Yesterday I went to the fabric store to get the upholstery fabric. While there, I asked the lady helping me if she knew of anyone who made slipcovers for large cushions. Turns out, she does. She has her own side business, and does just the work I'm needing. She showed me some sample photos of her work, and she seemed to really know what she was talking about when I was asking her questions about the fabric, so ... later that day I brought my cushions to her. She's going to make removable slipcovers for them with corded trim. And she's going to try to get them to me as she gets each one done, so that I can have something to sleep on as soon as possible. (Of course, we arranged all this before I knew about the water heater situation.)

I also bought my outer curtain fabric yesterday. But I can't make curtains until I get the hardware for them. Lowe's didn't have any, so I'm just going to get them at Camping World while I'm there. I will also need to get two new propane tanks there. In addition to everything I just disclosed, I also learned last week that my propane tanks are so old they are actually illegal to fill now. (This really sucks since they seem to be in fine condition, and I hate to waste them, but I will need propane, so they will have to go.)

So ... that is the update for now. I realize it was not as brief as I had hoped. But, among all the trials and tribulations, I am still really excited about getting moved into my little camper. And it's even nicer knowing how well everything will work when I am finally able to do so.

Cheers for now!

PS: Please cross your fingers and send good vibes that everything else works like a dream on my camper. I am trying to stay positive about all this, but I am tired of forking out money on this b*tch. Thank you.

PPS: I'm typing this on my new computer. It rocks.

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