Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Trails RV Resort, Surprise,AZ

We arrived here in Surprise, AZ, at Happy Trails for a month long stay. This will be the first time we've stayed in one place for an entire month other than Southern California to visit family and celebrate the Holidays. And we're looking forward to our stay.

There's a whole lot going on here in the west Phoenix valley. There's a lot of activities here at the resort, including pickleball, crafts, swimming, classes, and on site shows. Outside of the resort there's spring training baseball games, and a lot of museums, art shows, biosphere, and other AZ attractions. We don't know how much we'll see during this visit as we plan to enjoy the resort activities. This might be an area we'll return to every winter as the people are very friendly.

The trip here was not without incident. We were right at the junction of the 91 freeway & the 60 freeway, where there is a lot of construction, our motorhome died in stop & go traffic. We called coachnet, our roadside assistance program, and they sent out a VERY BIG tow truck to take us to Cummins to repair our coach. They actually sent two trucks. It took about an hour to get us hooked up. They had to remove the drive shaft to tow it. Finally we were on our way, following our motorhome in the Honda. After about 100 feet, the tow truck stopped. We couldn't figure out what the problem was from the car, so John got out to check with the driver. It seems that the tow truck had two flat tires due to picking up some metal pieces from the construction. Luckily, it was the tow truck and not our motorhome. But that delayed us another two hours while the tow truck got new tires on the rear.

Cummins was open until 11:30pm so they started diagnosing the problem right away. We were anxious to get going, and Cummins was closed on Sat. & Sun. It turned out to be a fuel pressure sensor. The good news they had one in stock, the bad news was the part was $200. Including the labor charges, it was another $500 bill. But we were out of there by 10:00pm. The decision then was where to spend the night.

As we were driving toward Indio, we made some phone calls looking for a stop over just to sleep through the night like a Wal-Mart. But we couldn't find anyplace that allowed overnight parking, so we kept driving. Or we tried to keep driving. John, in his great wisdom, was waiting to get diesel out in Palm Desert because it was lower in price. Well, because of the low fuel the motorhome kept stalling, usually in the middle of the street. After priming the fuel pump, it would start again, go for a short distance, & then die again. John was beginning to panic a little. After trying to get into a fuel stop from three different directions, including a u-turn, we finally made it into the diesel island. After fueling up, the motorhome ran great and John learned a difficult lesson. Don't let the fuel tank get to low.

But we still didn't have a place to spend the night. We had called the Spotlight 21 casino to see if they allowed overnight parking, but they said no. We resigned ourselves to a long drive and an overnight in a rest stop. But as we passed the casino, John's sharp eyes noticed a lot of RVs parked in a separate parking lot. We got off the freeway drove to the parking lot, and parked next to another motorhome. It was almost midnight. So we walked Pearl, pulled the drapes, and turned in for the night. It was not the most restful night, because we were afraid that someone from security would knock on our door, telling us to move on. But they didn't.

From that point on it was a smooth drive to AZ. And a quick check in, park the coach and get to know our new home. You know what they say about the best laid plans. . . . . .

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