Greetings from Kerrville, TX!

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
Global warming has not yet arrived in Kerr county. 38 degrees and dropping. Vrai will be by shortly to entertain you with her witty recollection of our adventures today.

Kerrville is west of San Antonio along interstate 10. The Guadalupe river runs right through the town. We had a few hill/mountain climbs to get here. Currently we are at around 1,700 ft elevation. Each stop west will find us climbing higher and higher. Other than Gatlinburg, TN, we always seem to be close to sea level. Not on this leg of our adventure.

Anyway, we are here for the week.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
So much for global warming - it's 38* in Kerrville. I started out in shorts and a t-shirt this morning and by the time we got to Kerrville - one hour away, btw - I was freezing. The good news is that I can bust out my cute coat that I got in Salt Lake City that I rarely get to wear.

It's a testament to Monello's and my compatibility that we don't kill each other - or even really argue - on moving days. Something ALWAYS!!!! goes wrong and it's usually related to the tow vehicle. This morning I lost the clasp for one of the pins that go through the thingie that attaches the towbar to the car. I must have had it in my hand when I heaved the trash over the side of the dumpster and threw it away - that's the only thing I can think of. The good news is that Monello had the old pins, so we used one of them.

Then when I brought the car around to attach it to the motorhome I must have accidentally turned on the headlights. This drained the battery without our knowledge, and when we got to the RV park it was D-E-A-D. Hurray for jumper cables!

So yes, two screw ups, both of them mine. :whack:

And a couple of minor things went wrong, too, but I don't remember what they were.

The good news is that I'm an excellent guider and didn't make any mistakes on that end, so the exit (which was more interesting than usual because of the jacked up site we were in) and the enter when we got to Kerrville went off without a hitch. Also because Monello backs that motorhome into tight spots like a BOSS.

Our RV park is a KOA Journey, which means it's basically a parking lot with hookups. It's not bad, just, um, rustic. But we're only here for a week so no biggie. Kerrville looks like a cute little town, bigger than I thought, pretty much all you need in a town to be happy. We were starving and in need of comfort food so we went to dinner at Billy Gene's - Monello had meatloaf and I had chicken breast with wild rice. For appy we had "tater kegs", which are enormous tater tots filled with sour cream, jalapenos, cheese, and bacon.

Hill Country is really pretty. In fact, this country get more and more breathtaking the further west you go. But I'd really like to have one moving day that goes smoothly.
 
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vraiblonde

Board Mommy
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25* this morning and the water pipes are frozen. :lol: Last time we had freezing temps was over two years ago in Charleston. We're such babies that cold to us now is like 50*.

Fortunately I know how to deal with no water at the campsite. I've come a very long way from the Cunningham Falls incident.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
In order to facilitate leaving, I pack up as much stuff as I can the day before. That way moving day it's just the cable, electric, water & sewer that we have to deal with. Once we are all slide in then the leveling blocks get put away. A once over the RV to ensure we didn't miss anything and then we are off.

Yesterday's initial challenge was the fact that our site dropped off big time in the front, especially on the passenger side. Several others have scraped the bottom of their rigs by exiting direct instead of swinging to the left immediately. Faced with that challenge I decided it made more sense to back out instead. Vrai wasn't convinced. There was a pickup truck parked behind us. Absent that truck it would have been easy to back up. Anyhow first attempt I didn't cut the wheel fast enough. We regrouped and did it again, this time turning sooner. Then I whipped out my Jersey and did a few K moves with a 34 foot RV in a tight spot. Vrai guided me forward towards a tree. I was sure I was as close as I needed to be but she milked 2 more feet out of me. Then back up once more and voila.

Next step is to attach the Jeep. That is best done on a flat surface out of the way of the traffic flow. Some campgrounds provide a lot of room to do that. The KOA in Mt. Pleasant SC comes to mind for the best layout. They have a ton of space to manuever several rigs at once. I notice a lot of places dont really leave any room for that. In South Padre Island we blocked the campground exit for a while so we could hook up. Exiting traffic had to go in the opposite lane. The problem is compounded because that exit is also used by a popular restaurant. But we did what we had to do. Back to our current situation.

So we get on a sloping hill to attach. We line up then have to adjust slightly because the tow bar arms just missed attaching. The after that adjustment, the attaching pin clip turned up missing. Easy fix there. Once we were hooked up it's all down hill to the exit. But I need gravity to lock the tow bar arms in place. When we are level it's just a matter of pulling the RV forward. As luck would have it, right in front of the office there is a roundabout. There was no reason for me to go that way except to lock the bar arms. I took the turn slow and both arms locked in place nicely. I'm amazed at how many challenges we face on the road end up being easily remedied. Often just stepping back and reviewing the options reveals a simple solution.

Since I've been disappointed a few times, I now google my final destination. The GPS lady sent me down a mountain road in Gatlinburg when a nice, 2 lane road was available and made more sense to take. I guess she wanted me to have the scenic view with cliffs and hair pin turns. Getting fuel with an RV is also tricky. I use gasoline, so I go to the regular pumps. Once at a busy gas station I was waiting for the pump on the end to get freed up. I stopped back because there was a drive through fast food lane that I would have blocked if I pulled forward. Anyhow once the spot I was waiting patiently for became available, another driver would pull in before I could even shift gears and go forward. This happened several time before I left without getting any gas. Yesterday I saw I had 2 choices about 25 miles from our final destination. I got off the interstate then saw that there were 3 RVs in station A on the right. It was tight in there. I changed lanes to the left, crossed the medium, swung around the building and pulled up to the pump. By this time Vrai had caught up to me and guided me to right where I needed to be.

We get to the KOA and the host shows me my spot. It's a back in spot but it's no big deal. We have to detach the Jeep. It's flat here in the campground but we are surrounded by hills. Detaching requires the Jeep to be straight behind the RV. Otherwise the release arms on the towbar won't disengage. Vrai knows how to check that everything is good. We have 1 good and the other stuck. So I have to pull ahead a foot and retry. Again no love. Some times it's easier than others. I've even done this by myself. That's where I learned to tie off the good one when it goes down. This way no matter how you turn it won't pop back up. About this time a cranky lady comes out of the office and says we need to move because blah, blah, blah. I give her the we are having an issue and please be patient and we'll be out of the way in a moment. Oh and by the way welcome to our KOA, have a nice stay. Up yours lady. I just thought that in my head, I didn't actually say that.

Good news is both release arms go down. We begin the detaching process. We still use the manual, since Jeep doesn't want to make it easy for you to tow their products. There are about 20 steps but some steps are Turn the key and step on the brake pedal. We get to the start the engine part and nothing. Lights, radio and horn work but the engine won't turn over. DOH!. Now Vrai is ready to rent an apartment at this point. She pulls the Rav4 over and we try to jump the Jeep. In under a minute the Jeep fires up. Life is good again. I park the Jeep. I notice that the headlight is in a different position that what I keep it in. I use the auto feature so I don't have to deal with it. I think this is what drained the battery enough to cause it to not want to start. I started it this morning with no problem.

Back the RV into our spot. Then I notice that 1 of our outside compartment doors is open. I lock all of them before we move. But the latch is stil locked. It seems that coming over the mountains my load shifted enough that it put enough pressure on the door to pop the latch open. I called the repair guy to come take a look at it. I don't want to do the rest of this trip and have that be an issue. There are a lot of sweeping, winding turns out this way as the interstate comes through the mountains and hills at the lowest points. Sometimes that means the road meanders left and right with crazy sharp turns and such.

Did I ever express how thankful I am that someone decided to become a mobile RV repair tech? They have been a lifesaver, sort of, for us. If a young person wants a rewarding career with unlimited work, this would be it. When I talked to the guy on the phone he said he or his partner would come over when they can. Right now they are swamped with furnace calls. The temps took a nose dive last night and just after 10AM we have only warmed up to 27 degrees. It's overcast, so I don't see any radiant sun heat in our near future.

So days like today and yesterday will be what we talk about 3 months, 6 months a year from now. Remember that time.....?

Kerrville looks like a neat town. The Guadalupe river runs through it. It forms 2 lakes in the town. Where we ate last night overlooked the river. For a town of 20,000 people, they have pretty much everything you could need. If not San Antonio is about an hour away by car. In an RV it will take a bit longer to get there.

I'm sure this week will fly by for us. Our next 3 stops are a week long until we cross over into New Mexico, where we will park in Las Cruces for a month. Normally we prefer a months stay but we have places to get to, so some times you have to hit and run. We also did a series of week long stays last year when we left Panama City Beach, heading to Austin, TX. A week is long enough to see the major attractions in the destination town.

I'm sure we'll post some pictures of this area soon. Till then dress in layers and stay warm.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
some times you have to hit and run.
And our idea of "hit and run" is a week or less. These folks who are constantly on the move, day here, two days there, another day somewhere else - that is exhausting, plus you don't really get a chance to see the area. And then there are the ones who bust a move from Canada to Key West, spend a week, then bust ass to get back. Yikes.

But you know what? To each their own. Monello and I are in the happy position that we can spend a week in places like Kerrville, which would never be a vacation destination for anyone, and not feel like we're wasting our time. We can stay in RV parks like this very basic KOA and not feel disappointed.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
Last weekend I ate my breakfast at the campground community center. Each Saturday some of the campers put on a breakfast. Vrai didn't want to go, so I went alone. I sat by myself and was joined by another couple. You do the where are you from sort of thing. Long story short, we got to talking about future plans. When I mentioned we were going to Kerrville, the wife mentioned to make sure we visit the town of Comfort. We had talked about Boerne & Gruene, so they were aware that we are on the lookout for the historic downtowns.

Today we drove over to Comfort. It's about 20 miles from the campground where we are hanging our hats this week. What a pleasant surprise. It's a great little downtown, preserved in a way that shows it's former glory.

The lady in the chamber of commerce/visitor center tried to interest me in the wineries and art museums. Yeah, that's not for us. I got the downtown map and that's where we headed. Glad we did. Pictures to follow.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
Part of today's rolling around had us stopping by at a cactus moonshine distillery, Hill Country Distillers. We did a tasting of several of their offerings. They also had their gin and a few other flavored offerings such as coffee and jalapeno. They have 1 of the historic buildings for their tasting room and bar. Later we had a drink in their bar.

The bar is only able to offer drinks made with their locally distilled liquors. But they have a bunch of suggestions on their drink menu. I find the differences in the alcoholic beverage business in this country fascinating. Each state does it slightly different. Many make no sense. But I'm OK with the states controlling that and not the feds getting involved at that level.

I bought 1 of the lime infused alcohols. I think it will go nicely in a margarita.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
The only two things in life that make it worth livin'
Is guitars tuned good and firm feelin' women......

We went to Luckenbach, TX today. I thought it would be a small town - no. It's an area. It used to be a town but went ghost town in the 60s. Two guys bought it and turned it into basically a tavern and dance hall. Today it's a party and festival venue with two bars, a fried food place, a really cool souvenir shop, a custom hat shop (yes, I bought one), and a bandstand.

There's not a whole lot better than drinking a Shiner in Luckenbach, TX while the band plays "Luckenbach, TX". The weather was gorgeous and there were a ton of people there. The band was country rock, perfect for the venue.

The second one is how they play beer pong in Texas

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vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
Afterward we headed for Fredericksburg, which is a true destination/tourist area with a ton of wineries, shopping, food, alcohol, etc. We had dinner at one of the German restaurants - schnitzel for me and a pot roast sandwich for Monello.

135676135677 135678

And then....

:mad:

As we were driving home, a bunch of lights came on on the dash - VSC, 4WD, and check engine. Yes, on a Saturday evening when we are due to leave tomorrow. We took it to Auto Zone and the guy plugged the magic thingie in, said something about an oxygen sensor or something like that.

So we came back to the campground, the owner shuffled things around so we could stay a couple more nights, and gave me the name of a mechanic in town who I will call on Monday. Ideally it's a simple fix - throw a new part in there and on our way Tuesday.

I'm philosophical about these little setbacks, once I bitch and fume for a few minutes. At least I didn't break down in the middle of nowhere - that would have been a way bigger PITA.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
I googled Luckenbach before we went. On google they have a feature that shows you photos. Many of those photos are shots done by regular people out and about taking pictures. I kept seeing the same backgrounds, mostly the town sign and the post office. The post office looked iconic, so that explained why everyone took a picture there. Sort of like in Key West where everyone takes a picture in front of the marker for the southern most point in the US. Because, well if you go that far, you have to take a photo there.

So when we get just about there I miss the turn for the Luckenbach loop. Instead I pull into what looks like a huge grass parking lot. But the Luckenbach sign is there and I want to take a picture. Lower down in the field I see a lot of cars parked. I figure they have some sort of weekend activity, like a fair or a farmer's market going on. Meanwhile cars and bikes are coming and going from the area down below. Clearly there is a big to do going on.

We drive down to where all the hubbub is. Vrai jumps out where the wooden fence leads to an entrance with some signs. It announce a band that is playing and it's $15 to get in. There are also many signs warning that it's not a BYOB event. She comes back and tells me the deal. We decide to just bypass this and take the Luckenbach loop road, so we can see the downtown. Imagine my surprise when we get on the loop road and it takes us to just behind where we just were. There are about 150 people milling about, going in between the different buildings that are more like barns and outbuildings instead of actual sturdy structures.

So we end up going back to where we just were and park the car. Turns out the $15 cover charge was for an event that happened a while ago. We stroll over between the buildings and up pops a little village that is hard to describe. For the SOMD folks, it was sort of like Tall Timbers Marina if they had 3 or 4 more smaller buildings on their property. The buildings there are a general store gift shop (reminds me of the old Buzzy's), dance hall, post office turned into a bar, another bar, a hat store, another bar, a food shack, kissing booth & decent toilets. There are a few stages and many picnic tables so you can enjoy the music. They had a decent, 4 piece band, The Strayhearts. I knew about half the song they sang. The one's I didn't know, Vrai knew all the words to them. Go figure. When they introduced the band, it was awkward because they said the guitar player was from El Salvador, then the chants of Build That Wall echoed from the crowd.

Luckenbach reminds me of the end result if you gave a tractor trailer full of lumber to an eneretic boy scout troop. The buildings weren't necessarily structurally sound, but they'd keep the rain off of you in a downpour. The longer we were there, the better the music became and the more people showed up. On our way out and back to the car, I spotted 1 of those European tour busses off loading passengers in the parking lot. I spoke to 1 of the couples getting off the bus. They were from San Antonio as part of a group that is touring the hill country on a wino tour. You know you have made the big time when your little music venue is a stop on the drunk bus tour.

I could have lived my life without visiting Luckenbach. I'm sure glad I came and saw it. It's a testament to the idea of if you build it, they will come. And it makes you shake your head with how much of draw that little hole in the wall location is, while other, more glorious locations can't draw flies. And that is why we run the roads and do what we do. Hopefully after we get the Rav4 all fixed, we'll be off to find our next Luckenbach.
 

Grumpy

Well-Known Member
As we were driving home, a bunch of lights came on on the dash - VSC, 4WD, and check engine. Yes, on a Saturday evening when we are due to leave tomorrow. We took it to Auto Zone and the guy plugged the magic thingie in, said something about an oxygen sensor or something like that.
Just had that happen on my Lexus (without the 4WD), Auto Zone said the oxy sensor also. I googled it on Youtube and a guy on there said 90% of the time it's your gas cap..Tighten it and all is good...Tried it and now the lights are off.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
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Just had that happen on my Lexus (without the 4WD), Auto Zone said the oxy sensor also. I googled it on Youtube and a guy on there said 90% of the time it's your gas cap..Tighten it and all is good...Tried it and now the lights are off.
We tried that and no joy. ☹ But thanks for the input!
 

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
As we were driving home, a bunch of lights came on on the dash - VSC, 4WD, and check engine
The VSC and 4WD lights will come on anytime you get the check engine light as it shuts down those systems. As to whether or not it is the O2 sensor would depend on the codes. Try disconnecting the positive bat lead for a few minutes, reconnect and see if the lights go off.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
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The VSC and 4WD lights will come on anytime you get the check engine light as it shuts down those systems. As to whether or not it is the O2 sensor would depend on the codes. Try disconnecting the positive bat lead for a few minutes, reconnect and see if the lights go off.
The Auto Zone magic thingie said there was a problem with the O2 sensor. The Auto Zone human didn't know what that meant (nor did I, nor did Monello). But Monello is going to do what you suggested and see if that fixes things. Otherwise tomorrow I'll beg the fixee guy to take me in as an emergency.

I have an appointment at the El Paso Toyota service place to get a full check over, but that's not until the 18th when we (hopefully) get there. Supposedly I can still drive it even if the O2 sensor has really crapped out - it's not sputtering or running rough or anything like that - but the last thing I need is to break down in the No Man's Land between here and Fort Stockton.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
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Try disconnecting the positive bat lead for a few minutes, reconnect and see if the lights go off.
And the lights are now out.

:thewave:

I'm going to drive it this afternoon and make sure they stay out.

So...what would the battery have to do with the O2 sensor? (As you can plainly see I know jack sh*t about cars)
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
90% of the time it's your gas cap..Tighten it and all is good...
And now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it WAS the gas cap and disconnecting the battery just reset the lights after we tightened things up.

WTF knows. :banghead:

But I love these forums! You all know things! :yay:
 

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
And the lights are now out.

:thewave:

I'm going to drive it this afternoon and make sure they stay out.

So...what would the battery have to do with the O2 sensor? (As you can plainly see I know jack sh*t about cars)
The battery disconnect is like a code reset. It even worked when I had a cd in the multi-cd player that the system all of a sudden didn't recognize as being there.
 
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