Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Red Wheels, Shiny Moons, And Some Brand New Sneakers

My best buddy Gary has been VERY busy, but he somehow found the time to come up with a GREAT surprise for me. Direct from Summit Racing Equipment, I got a brand new pair of smoothie steel wheels, and a matching pair of baby moon hubcaps. The wheels and moons are made by a company called Wheel Vintiques. They are typically used on vintage cars and trucks, but they look equally cool on vintage travel trailers, if I do say so myself. I have wanted new wheels since day one. My old ones served the purpose, but they weren't in very good shape under the multi coats of red paint. Gary called them 20 foot wheels....wheels that look good from 20 feet away, but not too good if you look at them closely. They really were kind of ugly. My new wheels were gorgeous right out of the box, even though they came in gray primer. After a couple of coats of Rustoleum Safety Red spray paint, they looked even better. And those new hubcaps are much better quality than my old ones. They have a deep mirrored finish that look perfect with the red wheels. To top things off, I also got a brand new pair of Cooper Freestar sneakers (tires). After over 40,000 miles, my old tires still had plenty of tread life left, but they were made 7 years ago. Gary was getting nervous about the age of them. As much as we travel, a blowout on the road is something we DON'T want to encounter. To make matters worse, changing tires anywhere on a Serro Scotty is VERY difficult because of the tiny "swoop" wheel well openings. Gary has always dreaded removing and replacing my tires because of the difficulty involved. Believe me, I hear a lot of cuss words when work is needed that requires tire removal and replacement. These new tires, even though they are the same size as my old ones, were slightly wider. That's not a good thing when working in extremely limited spaces. My wheel well trim had to be removed, because that fraction of an inch of space made a difference in getting the new tires on. It was still a major fight, and I could do nothing but sit here and hope for the best. Luckily, it all worked out. My new improvements are breathtaking. Even my dog "Serra" approves. The days are clicking off quickly, and the long-awaited camping season is almost here. Other than my new things, I really look horrible. Polishing me is out of the question due to limited time, but I'm hoping to get a good bath before we head out. It's amazing how dirty I get just sitting here, especially after nine whole months. Expect to hear from me much more often this fall than you have during the summer. It's my favorite time to camp, and I love sharing my adventures with you. Later, my peeps!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Some Treats For Dodge

Three years before I came along in the summer of 2009, Dodge became a valued member of Gary's family. Back on September 26th, 2006, Gary saw Dodge on eBay. By the end of the day, Dodge was at his new home on Gary's driveway. A few months later, Gary and Dodge camped together for the first time. It was the only time that Gary had camped in anything but a tent, and it was definitely a step up (literally) from sleeping on the ground. With all of the camping gear and everything else that has to be brought along on trips, Gary was a bit cramped inside Dodge. At that point, he decided to use Dodge as a hauling and towing vehicle, and to find a small vintage trailer to camp in. That's where I came into the picture. Since then, the three of us have been inseparable. Gary calls us "The Three Camp-A-Teers". We're besties to the full extent of the meaning of the word. Dodge and I get a little work done to us each year before we leave home for our fall and winter camping season. I'm sure I'll be getting my systems checked very soon, but for now it's Dodge's turn. You may recall that his windshield got broken by a passing log truck last season in northern Georgia. The cracks had really spread since then, and some were within Gary's line of sight. It was definitely time for a replacement. Boyd's Glass was chosen by recommendation (and price). They ordered Dodge's new glass one day, and installed it the next. What a difference! In addition to all the cracks in the old windshield, it's amazing how hazy the glass gets over time. The new one is crystal clear. With that done, it was time for some exhaust work. Rick's Muffler Shop had replaced Dodge's muffler a few years ago, so Gary took him there again. Although the old muffler had some holes in it, there was also a major exhaust leak where the exhaust pipe bolts up to the manifold. The bolts were replaced and tightened, and the problem was solved. Last year, I knew when Gary and Dodge were returning to the campground after taking a side trip together somewhere. Dodge's exhaust was a dead giveaway, but now they will be able to sneak up on me. I guess I'd better be on my best behavior, but that won't be too hard. I'm ALWAYS a good boy (HaHaHaHa!!!). Now it's Gary's turn to do the rest of the work on Dodge. His oil needs changing, and there's a leaking gasket on the rear differential. He can handle that. He's also revising the interior modifications that he did last year to make them a bit more "user friendly". Enjoy your upgrades, Dodge, and Happy 10th Anniversary to my two besties. I am so lucky to be part of the gang. Long live "The Three Camp-A-Teers!".

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cleared For Takeoff

I am SO happy to say that the long, hot, miserable summer is almost over. That means that the fall camping season is right around the corner. I've been sitting right here in one spot since January 5th. How would you like to sit in one place for almost nine months? It doesn't sound like much fun, does it? As the time gets closer for us to hit the highway, I'm not only getting more excited, but until this week, I was also getting more nervous. There was no possible way for me to go anywhere. As you can see in the first picture, I am almost hidden from sight if you were standing outside the garage looking in. Gary has bought a tremendous amount of stuff since we got into the antique business, and some of it is furniture and other large items. For me to have any hope of going camping, all of that stuff needed to find a new home. Gary somehow managed to fit all of it inside the front room of the house. That room has always been used as a storage area. He had to do a lot of rearranging and some shelf building to make everything fit. As they say, where there's a will, there's a way. After a couple of afternoons of work, there was nothing left between me and the garage door opening except for a small amount of clutter. Gary finished cleaning up today. I will sleep well tonight, knowing that there's a way for me to escape. Bring on the camping season!