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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alternator Universe - Time travel from The Branch to The Beach

I am writing this post from the comforts of our home away from home. We are set up for a last weekend of summer getaway to Myrtle Beach. Some people say that "getting there is half the fun" - those people have obviously never traveled with us.

It took us 12 hours to get to Myrtle Beach from Flowery Branch. And, no, we were not stopping to smell the roses on the way. In fact, we only stopped to get gas and go to the potty. Immediately following the last one of these stops, Jeff noticed that the alternator gauge was acting funny - it was pegging out somewhere between "I'm going to blow up" and "You are about to be left on the side of the road." Wonderful.

This is what an
alternator looks like...
We were somewhere in the armpit of South Carolina - once again searching Google for RV Repair Shops when we lucked up on a guy who said he would come to us - but it would take an hour for him to get to us. A milkshake and a nap later, the mechanic arrived - did I mention it was about 6pm on a Friday night? He brought a buddy and they went to work.

My mental picture of Shade Tree the Mechanic
Thank heavens the problem was just another one of the previous owner's mechanic (We'll call him Shade Tree from now on) examples of excellent workmanship. He had put the alternator on with a bolt about 3/4 of an inch long - so, only about two threads of the bolt were actually holding the alternator in place, this had cause it to wiggle and wobble until the belt used by it had gotten all wonky and caused the system to red light. Luckily, all we had to do was replace the belt and put a proper bolt in the thing - which was about a 2" bolt by the way.

The roadside mechanics were awesome. They completed the work in a downpour of rain and got us back on the road without gouging us for an unnecessary replacement of the entire alternator assembly.
We were back on the road at about 8pm - with at least 2 hours to go. Once we finally made it to the campground - PirateLand Family Camping Resort - right on the beach. It is awesome. They have an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, a lazy river, about a mile of exclusive beach access, a camp store, club house, playground, paddle boats....etc etc get it. It's nice and has all the comforts of home EXCEPT wireless internet. But that's why I married an electronics geek. We carry our own wireless with us.
My Red Crockpot Rules

Did I mention that I cooked our dinner in the crockpot on the road all the way here? I did. I'm learning. So, once we got settled in - about 10:00pm! We had a yummo dinner of beef tips and gravy, mashed potatoes and green salad. It was so nice to have a hot dinner that I didn't have to cook after that long ride.

I will write more later, I have a wonderfully delightful tale of how Boo-Boo (our 4lb Chihuahua) peed all over us in the bed at 3am. Stay tuned!

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