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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Barth Repairs & Trip Preparation

After driving it home and around town - we did find a few things that needed repair. Nothing to compare to the needs of the Argosy - but vital repairs all the same...

- Automatic step motor
- Rear air needs upgrading
- Front air levelers need replacing
- Curtains need replacing
- Water tanks need to be cleaned and flushed
- Air filter and fluids need checking/changing
- Cruise control needs repair

Otherwise, we are ready to go. The fridge works, tires are in great shape and there's plenty of storage for our stuff. I went through all our tent camping gear and pulled items we can use in the RV. Good news is there are alot of things like dishes and cookware that we won't have to buy.

I also scored some towels and other linens from my Granny's house to stock our RV.

We've made our reservations - and will be heading out to Tybee Island next week for our maiden voyage! Wish us luck!

Once more with feeling - 1988 Barth

We've taken the plunge again. This time, it's a 1988 Barth - newer and in much better shape. We found it on Craigslist in Dalton, Georgia and made the trek up there to check it out. After giving it the once over, driving it and drilling the owners with about 10,000 questions - we bought it.

We had a very pleasant ride home and are super excited that we won't need to rebuild this RV before we can go camping in it. Noah laid out on the couch and watched a movie on the way home - in air conditioned comfort, I might add. We immediately started looking for reservations to take it for a test camp trip the coming weekend - but since it was 4th of July weekend, there just were not any campsites available where we wanted to go.

   
So, we decided to take her home, do some cleaning (it was already in great shape, we just needed to line the drawers and shelves with no-skid paper and pack them with our kitchen items, bedding etc.) All week we've been working on the RV - cleaning, sewing new thermal/blackout curtains, doing minor repairs and running around collecting the utensils and other necessities for the upcoming trips.

It's going to be an awesome remainder of summer and fall as we put this Barth to the test!

Out with the old...RIP Argosy

Well, it's been a little while since I wrote a post - that's because a lot has been going on. We took two very short trips in the Argosy to test it out. Both were road trips only - no camping. The first one was to celebrate Nanny's (Jeff's Mom, Wanda) birthday. It was her 75th and we had a family picnic at Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth, GA.
The RV made it to the park, up a very winding mountain road. We had our doubts but it made it. There were a couple of issues including the air conditioner kept throwing the breaker and shutting off and the door started flying open when we made left turns. My Dad (Leo) ended up standing and holding the door shut for about the last 45 minutes of the trip there. Following the party, we returned home with no air conditioning and a bungee cord holding the door shut. Winner. By the time we got home, we were all soaking wet with sweat and miserable. Everyone came in the house and went straight to the showers. Nice.

The second trip was to Albany, GA to my folk's house. We were meeting up with my brother (Lee) and cousin (Rusty) to clean out our Granny's house so Rusty's daughter Amber can move in. The RV made it to Albany - Jeff had put in a new (used) air conditioner, so we had cool air on the way down - the only issue we had was an exhaust leak that caused blue sparks to fly from the rear (we sort of looked like a hip hop low rider.)

While we were there, my uncle (Bubba) took a look at the camper and one of the guys who works for him at his wrecker service did some welding for us. Aside from the bald and dry rotting tires, Bubba had concerns about the oil and water levels in the engine and the general wear and tear on the RV overall. Not to be discouraged, we headed home with Noah in tow...only to stop for gas (while still in Albany) to find that a part on the generator had blown - so that meant no air conditioning for the four/five hour trip home. Oh dear. Did I mention it's late June in Georgia? Thank God, we made it home.

The next day, Jeff took the RV into a local repair shop - but before he could get there - the motor blew up - literally - plumes of white smoke, brown fluid streaking from the chassis, and a loud sputtering marked the end of life for the 1976 Argosy. He was able to pull it off the road safely. After a fit of cursing and dancing and throwing a few things around - it was decided we would have to scrap it.

We sold it to a local auto salvage yard, who came and towed it and scrapped the metal for cash. Tear. I can't say I was all that sorry to see it go. What a nightmare. We've decided to find a newer RV with less repair/renovations needed. I'll keep you posted.