Whew... what a DRIVE!!! Breakdowns Galore!!!

Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
Trip End Aug 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC

Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Monday, November 2, 2009

WARNING   unedited content,  read at your own risk,  editing will be throughout the week

We have been on the road for 3 hours now, and I'm watching my dashboard in my RV as we barrel down the country roads, seeking the big freeway aptly named "Interstate 95".  The needle in the voltmeter started inching downward, ever so slowly.  Being suspicious I am, and my understanding of automotive technology, I realize I may be running the RV off of the battery alone, as before the trip I charged the battery to full with my charger, so I can be confident the alternator doesn't have to do over duty, charging the two batteries this RV carries.  As we come along this road, and we're nearing Roanoke Rapids, SC, en route to Myrtle Beach State Park.  The needle has almost reached the red, and the engine is running still on 8 volts of battery power.  I find a gas station nearby, and park it, and then voila the engine dies on the spot.  Couldn't have picked a better spot than this, as I had room to pull off the Jetta off the tow dolly, and drive it to Roanoke Rapids, to the Auto zone, near the I95, and exchange the alternator and battery, which I had removed prior to leaving the RV for the parts store.  I had to spend about $170 dollars for a new alternator, and battery, so I can continue my trip.  I went back 30 Min's later, and reinstalled the new hardware, and done, I got steady 14 volts of power coursing through the engine bay of my RV.  I decided to completely Isolate the 2nd battery of my RV, since I suspect the 80's style battery isolator I have is completely fried.  No need to burnout the new battery and alternator setup.  Can always charge the 2nd batter at base with my portable charger.  whew,  life was good,  it slowed us down about an hour and half, and we were back on the road cruising towards the freeway, making our path down to the beach.

      We spent 2 nights at Myrtle Beach S.C. and tried out two different skate parks there.  One was behind a surf/skate shop and the store never opened that day so it was free skating all day.  We met a few local skaters Two, who's name we could remember being Scotty Perry, and Zack.  There was a bunch of others who were all part of a team of a store that recently went out of business.  They were a team missing a sponsor.  It was a sad show of how the economy has hit everywhere.  They're still trucking on though keeping together and skating together.   They take their skateboarding serious, and did a lot of good hard tricks.

    After skating that a while,  they had to go home, and directed us to another skate park named the Matt Hughes Skate park which was kind of small, but well set up.  There was no crowd when we first showed up, then all of a sudden a large posse of people starting coming, and it seemed they all knew each other from previous hang outs.  Josh was enjoying himself so much at both of these parks, that all of a sudden the lights turn on at the Matt Hughes park, and kept Josh skating till his legs actually gave out!  I made sure he warmed down from the intense workout Josh's been giving himself and he was fine the following days.

       After a good day's skating, and finally on Tuesday November 3rd, we left for Cocoa, Florida.  Right as we left, the muffler started rattling real loud, and a sudden loud bang while we were in the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme, stocking up on donuts,  the muffler fell off it's hangers, and landing on the parking lot surface.  I was puzzled,  why now of all things,  and saw how the old exhaust was rusted through.  I thought it should be OK,  with no muffler on temporarily till we got to Florida, but as we headed out of town, the exhaust gas filled the RV instantaneously, prompting me to pull over in the first big city in the country roads out of south Carolina, headed towards Florida.  I found a auto zone again, and purchased 27 dollars worth of exhaust pieces, and jerry rigged a air tight temporary fix that would route the exhaust gas away from the RV towards the side,  giving us fresh air to breath in again, as the fumes burned our eyes, and made the donuts taste like CRAP.

     Having the RV fixed again, I prayed again that there would be no more breakdowns on the road towards Florida.   Things were looking up, and the RV never complained again since the exhaust pipe incident.  We continued on the road, taking all the side country roads, following the GPS off the phone telling us where we are.  The new Samsung Jack works great! giving us directions across this wonderful country with a clear and precise map.  It's the same phone with our AT & T wireless Internet service that gives us the ability to tell our story from the road. 
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