Dallas, TX

Motoring East on 82 I pass multiple brush fires along the highway. There are no fire trucks or people in sight, I’m assuming this is a common occurrence in Texas. Dry brush and pastures with high temps and no rain. Creating the perfect combination for fires.

I arrive in Dallas on a cold wet wednesday afternoon, extremely happy to see Kim. I plug in and make myself comfy parking in the street in front of her house.  Kim lives in a nice neighborhood, sadly all the houses look the same to me. I managed to ramble through the neighborhood the first evening for two hours, confused and trying to find the motorhome. This sounds like a much easier task than it turned out to be. I must have carried the old mutt for at least an hour. I meet Kim’s roommate Sue later that same evening.

While I was in Albuquerque Louise had suggested I bring Kim some local frozen red and green chilies. I had quite a bit of stuff I was passing off to Kim, including her dresser. Elated to see the chilies, she reminisces of the roasted whole green chili’s she would use to make rellenos. I instantly think of the chilies from Hatch and easily convince her to make some for dinner. They were fantastic! For being so frugal and not spending money on food, I sure have eaten well.

The next day, hooked up to Sue’s wireless, I began the hunt to replace the odd sized battery in the home.  I locate an RV sale and repair shop in McKinney and decide to tackle the battery situation the next day while Kim is at work. The weather is rotten and there is talk of snow, I’d like to be further south by Monday. The only positive note so far, Chewy is hesitantly starting to walk in the grass again.

 I arrived at McClain’s Longhorn RV at 10am with the dimensions and type of battery I’m after. I’m greeted by a salesman who shuffles me back to the parts department. I give them the information and I’m told they don’t have one in stock but they could get it here by 1pm. Considering I had no choice but to wait, I purchased a few other odds and ends and went out to the home and started working on repairs in the parking lot. 2pm rolls by and still no battery, 3:30 the battery shows up. The man helping me in the parts department comes out and says he will have it switched out in 20 minutes, tops. Hour and twenty five minutes later, he knocks on my door and tells me the battery they delivered is the wrong size, they can’t get the correct one and the post that holds the battery in place snapped off. He then tells me my old battery is in the parts department and I shouldn’t leave without it. With that he turns and walks away.

I’m standing in the parking lot alone, looking at the gaping hole where my battery used to be, wires and connectors just hanging mid air. I probably stood there for a full minute in shock, staring under the hood. Once I snapped out of it I stomped back in the parts department looking for answers. By this time it’s almost five and everyone is gone but me and this schmuck. He pretty much told me too bad so sad its Friday at 5, take your battery and go.

With no choice I head back out to the home lugging my battery. Luckily I brought some tools and garage stuff, unfortunately not a voltmeter. Now not knowing what was hot or not, I electrical taped EVERYTHING and snap tied it into air, like a web, so nothing could touch each other and short me out.

So I reluctantly head back to Kim’s where I can plug in. Saturday I get back on the internet and find the battery at interstate, then find a dealer close by. I call up to find they have the battery in stock but they close in 15 minutes and they are closed on Sunday. They could leave it with their affiliate oil change place next door if I pick it up today. I plugged the cross streets into Garmin and head out. I was unable to find the lube place. I drove up and down multiple times past the streets given, couldn’t find it. Back to Kim’s to plug in again.

Kim was working the next day, so I followed her to work in the motorhome and borrowed her car to run errands, get a pedi, groceries etc. As I zipped around in Kim’s little car I pass the lube place holding my battery. (Two blocks away from cross roads given I might add.) I whip into the parking lot to see what the story is. They still have my battery, they won’t take the old one and they know nothing about motorhomes and couldn’t help me install the new battery. I pay for the battery and leave, I’m happy to have the battery at this point.

Back at the Home Depot parking lot, I decide to start with duplicating the post holding the battery in place. I must have gone back and forth seven times before I had the correct length of rod, washers and nuts to make it work.

With all this activity, Michael a fellow employee of Kim’s, has been watching me and has now clocked off of work. He approaches me just as I’m deciding what to do about all the wiring. He states he is a mechanic and would like to help me out. He gets out his tools and voltmeter and starts hooking up the battery. Tired and beat down from the drama, I’m happy to relinquish, and I put up no argument. I let him do his thing and he quickly hooked everything up. With nothing smoking or sparking I feel resolution, hand him $5 for a coffee on me and head back to Kim’s exhausted.

Monday morning I’m ready to leave, snow is definitely on its way. I do my normal walk around, filling the water, checking lights, blinkers and double checking the battery and generator. The generator wouldn’t start. Knowing this is one of the functions of the secondary battery I feel pretty anxious that I smoked something or it’s connected incorrectly.

I search the net again and find a place in Dallas and hope for the best. I head out determined to get out of town before the snow. All Star RV was great. The lead to the generator was fried, they  double checked all connections and had me out of there in 45 min. Getting the pity card, they only charged me for a half hour.

I’m out of here, no sights, no pics, the weather needs to cooperate & I’ll be back.

Category: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment