Absolute #1: It will be nothing like you imagined.
Absolute #2: Everything you try to do will go wrong.
Absolute #3: What goes wrong, goes wrong Big Time.
Even to reach this point, where I can blog about what has gone awry so far, has been a struggle. I could connect to the RV Park’s wifi but I couldn’t get to Yahoo or FaceBook or Fox News.
I figured it out, finally. In order to get Netflix US in Canada and not the watered-down Canadian Netflix, plus, to get Pandora Internet Radio at all, I had to subscribe to a Dutch Proxy Service in order to fool Netflix and Pandora. I thought I had made those changes to the Router alone, which was returned to Bell Canada late last week.
However, I had, or the program had, altered the settings in my laptop as well. Once I figured that out and changed the settings to ‘auto’, I was able to get out on the Park’s wifi.
That is when I discovered that my site was down. A Chat Session with HostGator, my web service provider, explained that my account was Past Due and I owed them $120, log into your Billing Account using your gmail account name and get things sorted out. Well, I tried every password combination that I have ever used and couldn’t log in.
While she tried to be helpful, there are strict security rules in place so that no one else can claim to be me and gain access to my account. I had to detail virtually every name and event in my life before she would give me the gmail account name that was associated with my account.
Now I’m sure all of this is written down somewhere as I maintain a spiral notebook with such account names and passwords. However, I had a struggle finding a can opener to open tonight’s dinner of canned chili – again – let alone a tucked away notebook.
When she told me what it was, I was astounded. I don’t remember creating that gmail account and don’t know why I would have used it in the first place. Naturally, I had no idea what the password was, so I had to answer the same group of security questions with gmail as I had with Hostgator, in order to get them to let me reset my password (to gmail).
Back to Hostgator. I entered the gmail account name she had given me, then had to request a password reset, which was sent to the long-forgotten gmail account. I reset my Hostgator Billing Password and paid my Web Hosting bill. I thought it odd that Hostgator would cut me off. These web hosting companies start reminders a month in advance, and sure enough, they had… to my long-forgotten gmail account.
If you ever want to block me from emailing you, good luck. I can send an email to you from email accounts that even I don’t know about.
Okay… with pictures to follow…the Hare-Brained Scheme and Catastrophe Number One – the biggie – I can’t get power to the trailer.
Originally thrilled that the Park had assigned me to a pull-through site, meaning I didn’t have to back in the trailer, I had quite a job getting the camper properly positioned. The site is a crescent shape, not a straight pull-through, so I had to nearly jack-knife the truck and trailer, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, to line up with the power pedestal, water faucet and (no offense KKT) the sewer drain (inside joke).
With the truck on a 60º angle to the trailer, the nose of the trailer jacked into the air pulling the rear of the truck with it, I couldn’t get out from under the trailer… the trailer hitch wouldn’t release the ball on the truck. I just left it, I had much bigger events to worry about.
The camper had been winterized and the water lines were filled with pink anti-freeze. I couldn’t flush the lines until the sewer hose was connected and in this site, the sewer connection is on a bad angle… it’s too high compared to the height of the trailer drain. I got it figured out, eventually, and ran water through until it was a lot less pink than it once was.
I hooked up the power cord then came into the trailer and turned on the air conditioner. It worked perfectly for twenty minutes, then cut out. I figured it was a tripped breaker. I couldn’t find the breaker panel anywhere. How do you hide a breaker panel in a 26′ box? I checked in the Owner’s Manual where it said if the breaker is tripped, reset it. Thanks.
But in the Owner’s Manual, the people I bought the camper from had written their phone number. I called and the former owner told me where the breaker panel was hidden – naturally – in plain site. I thought that the furnace was behind that cover, not the breaker panel, so I hadn’t opened it. Not that it helped much when I did open it as none of the breakers were tripped and none of the fuses were blown.
It was a very hot night to try to sleep, even after a substantial meal of a hot dog on a whole-wheat bun warmed slightly in the Park’s microwave. A bag of ice saved the half-and-half from going bad in the cooler, where the butter had become liquid after a very long day that had started out in a biker-filled Waffle House in Lexington Kentucky at 4:00am.
My former neighbor, Roger, who must shoulder the blame for this entire Hare-Brained Scheme, despite having been kind enough to pull the trailer in advance from the other neighbor’s back yard to make sure it was dry and aired out, came over to the Park the next morning armed with tools, vu-meters and experience. After removing the main ground-fault switch, the power magically came on.
We got directions to a hardware store and purchased a new switch. It got wired back up following a lunch stop at Dairy Queen for the only substantial meal I will have for a few days to come, yet. However, the same thing happened, the air conditioning ran and we had power for fifteen minutes, then the power cut out completely and has yet to come back on.
The Park knew of an RV mechanic, so I called him late Monday. He is swamped and will not be able to come out until Thursday but I described the issue to him. He said that it may not be the camper, it may be a bad ground at the power pedestal, so to get the Camp to test it, then call him back in the morning.
Before I could ask the Camp to test the pedestal, two huge Georgia Power trucks pulled in this morning with four guys loaded down with equipment. Long before Twitter, Messaging and even the internet, here in the South just tell a good ole’ boy wearing a tool belt that you’re having a problem and you’ll have a passel of rednecks trying to help. On company time the four of them did everything they could but I’m still without power. We did narrow it down to being an issue inside the trailer.
So, I have no air conditioning, no hot water, no microwave, no fridge, no lights and no plugs. It’s not all bad, as the power pedestal has not only a 30-amp receptacle but two household current receptacles as well. I have a heavy-duty extension cord, though it’s only about ten feet long. I was able to plug in the electric tea kettle to get hot tea and warm water to wash the few dishes that I have used.
I brought a single electric lamp, so I can see inside the trailer, though it is very, very warm. Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart to buy a household extension cord and a power bar to give me enough distance right into the trailer to be able to run the little fan that I purchased. Supper last night and again tonight was canned chili. Breakfast and lunch has been a hot dog.
I have been able to take a shower using the Camp’s facilities. I used the soap bar that I took – thankfully – from the Red Roof Inn in Lexington. The shampoo I have with me is formulated for bleached hair, so I may soon be a blonde, if I have any hair left at all. I do, however, have the thickest and most luxurious set of bath towels of anyone here in the Camp, if not the entire county.
I did make another run into Wal-Mart today with a list: trash bags, dish soap, powdered cleanser, detergent, Bounce sheets, a tea towel, ice and, of course, more canned chili.
It will get better. Eventually, Thursday and the RV Repairman will get here. I can get clean (and blonde), canned chili isn’t all that bad – though I might not want to face another hot dog for a few decades – the Park is very peaceful, quiet and private. And it’s in the South… Yee Haw!!
I wonder what the poor people are doing?Share