Stay Calm . . . and find out who your new friends’ friends are.

In Gallivan's Travels on March 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Saturday’s glitch kept us off the road all day yesterday. We relaxed, we napped, and we took a nice long walk. It was a good day. It meant re-thinking our schedule a bit. We need to be in Austin sometime on the 28th, so we have time, but we were hoping to spend a day in Memphis and another in Hot Springs, Arkansas. At least one of those would have to be bypassed. It was Sunday, and there wasn’t a mechanic to be found who could fix what was wrong with Gallivan.
When you are traveling in a Class B motor home and looking for a place to spend a night, an RV “park” may not seem like what you’re looking for. Many of them are just wide open spaces with graveled parking spaces equipped with hook-ups for electric, water, and sewer; and possible cable TV. These are generally filled with large fifth-wheel trailers and bus-sized RVs. Most of those are often long-term guests. People will park their house away from home and stay all season. There may not be many sites that are built for a small RV.
That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t park there while you’re on the road. The parks usually have a site or three that they can rent out for an overnight or short stay. And there can be other benefits to staying in one.
A shout out here to the folks at Grand Ole RV Park in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. It is, in fact, a big parking area for big RVs. There were rigs in every available spot. We called them on Friday afternoon and asked if they had a spot for us. We didn’t need much, we said. Just a simple site, didn’t need full utilities. They said they could find something.
What they found when we got there was a spot under a tree with an electric hook-up. Water was nearby, but it would need a garden hose to reach us. We didn’t need running water, but our fresh water tank was low and we wanted to fill it for washing and non-cooking uses. After we added some water to the tank, Tommy, the owner of the park noticed that we were going to have some trouble getting things level, so he looked around and found a new site for us. It was graveled and level and had both electric and water. Great.
Grand Ole RV has all the amenities. A small camp store, mostly filled with stuff you might need for your RV, not much in the way of food, for example, except beer and soft drinks. But they have a kitchen that serves up a new menu of country cooking every day. They also have, of course, bathrooms and showers and a laundry. And every night, dinner and the evening hours are accompanied by live country music from a long list of local bands who play there. It was loud and it was close, but everyone was having a good time.
Saturday, as you know if you’ve been reading the blog, we spent the day in Nashville. When we returned, we discovered that the 30 amp electric hookup was being used by the adjoining site and there was only a 50 amp outlet available. Sue, the other owner, lent us an adapter, though, and all was good. These people were proving to be very helpful, even eager to help, for a little van that came in on the spur of the moment.
We also knew, however that we were going to need to get Gallivan looked at before we headed further west. Sunday, we began to deal with that. Tommy gave us the name of a local mechanic, who spent a good twenty minutes on the phone with me talking about the issue with the oil pump sensor switch, reassured us that it could be fixed, but not by him. He did offer, however to let us drop his name at the Dodge dealership downtown. Nothing with a mechanic, however, was going to be open until 8:30 Monday. And we had used up our two nights at Grand Ole RV.
Sue took a look at the availability, and offered to let us stay put one more night – and even gave us a discount for the third one.
This morning I began calling around for an appointment for the van. Nobody seemed to be able to take us, unless we came on in and sat around all day waiting for a break in their schedule. So we looked at our options and decided we might just need to drive Gallivan half-an-hour to a dealership in Nashville that had a lift that could accommodate the van and not interfere with all the equipment under the Rv portion.
So, I went inside to say goodbye, and got to talking with Tommy. “Have you called David Smith,” he asked. “yeah,” I said, “I’m waiting for a call back.”
“Let me try. He’s probably just out in his garage and can’t take the time for a call.”
So, he called. David, it turns out was nowhere to be found, however.
So, I said, well, we’d probably head on over to Nashville to the dealer there, seeing as the one in Goodlettesville didn’t have the equipment they needed to fix the van.
“What equipment?” he asked. “Checking and replacing a sensor shouldn’t need any special equipment. Hold on a moment. Let me call my friend, she’s a part owner.”
He called her, she called the dealership, and we suddenly had an appointment, if we wanted it, with Christina.
“Go on over to David’s first,” Tommy suggested, “And if he can’t help you, you call me back and I’ll set it up with Bob Frensley’s, the Goodlettesville dealer.
Well we got lost on the two mile drive to David’s, called Tommy who got us back on track. David told us there was no way he could do anything today, so we called Tommy again. And we headed for Frensley’s.
Now things began to get interesting. The engine light went out and the tire pressure light came on. Apparently the pressure sensor was working again, but there was a slow leak around a nail in the rear, driver-side tire.
We pushed on to Frensley’s. I talked to Christina, who turned me over to Krista, who remembered that I had called the day before. She explained that the equipment they lacked was a lift that would allow them to work on the engine if they had to get it off the ground. They would, however, be able to check the DTC codes, update the computer, change the oil, and, using a floor jack, fix the tire.
Do it.
Two hours later, all of that was done, we were charged only for the oil change and were on our way to lunch, the whole thing having only cost us a few hours and fifty dollars.
But that’s not all, folks. After lunch, we got back in Gallivan, started off and heard a squeak symphony coming from somewhere near the repaired tire.
Back to Frensley’s and Krista. We were clearly not going to get very far today.
Several more hours passed. The chief mechanic came out to tell us that the hand brake was freezing up on the rear wheel on that one side, and they weren’t sure how much it would take to get it working again. It seems that the parking brake does not get used much anymore. People simply leave their vehicles in park. But if it’s not used, especially when there is significant salt and snow and mud being thrown around there, rust and dev=bris can make things sticky.
You know what we’re thinking, right? Major repair. He’d do what he could. Another hour or so passed. Krista came in to tell us that they had freed up the parking brake enough so that the brakes would work just fine, but we should go on not using the parking brake because that would just make it stick and squeak and wear away the brake pads again. Everything else was working fine, we could go on our way. Oh, and there’d be no further charges, have a good trip.
This is the beauty of so much of America when you take the time to really see it. People are friendly and fun and helpful. They will go out of their way simply because they want to. They don’t want to know your biases or your politics or your religion. They just want to know how they can help and y’ll have a good trip now.
We stopped over night a short way down I40 at the Johnny Cash Rest Stop. Tomorrow will be a longer than usual day as we head past Memphis to Hot Springs.
Have a good night, y’all. We’ll talk again when we get to Arkansas.

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