October 14 to 22, 2009 - Virginia and Refrigerator Failure

On October 14th we left Duncan RV Repair after paying the bill and headed east.  Our original plan was to take a few days to get to Virginia, but the weather was going to be colder soon so we wanted to make it through the mountains.  It was a wet and cold day all the way back to Wolfie's Campground in Zanesville, OH, a distance of 334 miles.  Our last stop here was in September.

We ended up in the spot we had wanted the last time, which was right next to Joy and Phil at the time.  The motorhome with the bikes is in the site they were in.

Some of the fall colors as seen in the campground.

We did not even unhook the CRV this stay, it was just an overnight.

The next day we headed further east.  These are fall colors as we inch along in a construction zone by Wheeling, WV.

Just into Pennsylvania Bill smelled ammonia and knew that was not good.  Our RV refrigerator had failed.  We had the refrigerator running on the inverter, one of the changes we had made at Duncan so we could run it while going down the road.  It did not blow up and burn the motorhome down like it would have running on propane.  Don't run your RV refrigerator on propane while driving, as Mac the Fire Guy always says. 

We stopped at a rest area to make calls, it was only two miles away.  We called our emergency roadside assistance provider, CoachNet, and they tried to find us a place in Pittsburgh, PA to fix it.  Pittsburgh was about a 45 minute drive north.  Pittsburgh had no place available, a surprise for such a large city.  Next they tried Morgantown, WV, the next place on our route and again there was no place available.  Our destination for the night was Hagerstown, MD, and there was a place that could fix our refrigerator there.  After calls back and forth we headed out again.  We took all the passes along the way in the rain and knew that only a few degrees colder and it would be snowing.  We were glad to come out of the mountains and into the Hagerstown area.  We ended up at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Williamsport, MD after 297 miles.  It was expensive but the campground was open and had room.  Here we are in the campsite.

Some of the damage.  Notice the electric receptacle has melted.

The green liquid is ammonia. 

With no refrigerator we were glad we had not stocked up on groceries and we were able to cram our basement freezer full and get most of the refrigerator goods in the large 12volt cooler we normally keep in the car.  After dinner we drove out and bought some ice and a couple Styrofoam coolers to hold the rest of the food.  We were going to be eating in a lot to keep the food from spoiling. 

In one day we started in Ohio, drove a bit in West Virginia, drove a bit in Pennsylvania where we had our refrigerator fail, then back into West Virginia for more miles and finally into Maryland.

In the morning we drove the motorhome up to Four Seasons RV in Hagerstown where Patti was expecting us.  She sent Larry the tech out to check the fridge and he came back with the verdict we already knew, our cooling unit had failed.  Patti got on the phone and ordered a new unit.  It would come in Monday or Tuesday and they would do the repair the day after it arrived.  After that Patti called and worked with our extended warranty service and got them bought off in helping pay the bill. 

We had reservations at North Fork Resort in Front Royal, VA for the 17th for three nights so Diane called and got us in one day early and for five nights total.  If the new cooling unit comes in Monday we will come back to North Fork after the repair on Tuesday.  If the cooling unit comes in Tuesday we will camp somewhere closer to Hagerstown Wednesday night since it is an hour and a half journey from Front Royal. 

After a total driving day of 114 miles we were camped at North Fork Resort.  Our last stay here in September 2007 we had a very nice 50AMP back-in on the river that was level.  They were not as nice to us this time, we had a sloped 30AMP pull-thru up on the hill.  It took a lot of work and boards to get level.

We even had to raise up our bottom step on boards.

The forecast for the weekend was days in the 40s, nights in the 30s and wet.  The temperatures were accurate but we did not have that much rain, which was good. 

Saturday we braved Winchester, VA while Evita dried from her bath.  We had lunch at TGI Fridays and checked out the routes in and out of Costco.  Winchester was quite busy.

Sunday we mostly stayed at home except one trip out to get more milk, which we are buying one gallon at a time to save space.   The rain stopped completely and it warmed into the upper 40s, which felt almost balmy.  The locals also cleared out of the campground including our next door neighbor.

Monday the 19th was beautiful and sunny.

We drove down I-81 to Staunton and had lunch at Chili's.  Then we drove to Waynesboro and visited the southern part of Skyline Drive.

Our photos from the southern part of Skyline Drive, Part 1, Part 2

Tuesday started great, Four Seasons RV called and said our part was in.  Then we headed out to finish Skyline Drive.

Our photos from the northern part of Skyline Drive

October 21 we set a 5:30AM alarm and drove up to Four Seasons for our 9AM appointment.   The new sun visors were wonderful since the sunrise was right in Diane's eyes while driving. 

We dropped off the motorhome at Four Seasons RV and the three of us kept busy.  We hit the outlet mall, we drove around, we had lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse. 

We came back in the early afternoon to find the cooling unit change was still in process.  Eventually it was complete and we waited until it was clear the freezer was cooling off.

Our old cooling unit:

Our new cooling unit and electrical receptacle as installed.

We drove up to Keystone RV Center's Campground, just across the border in Pennsylvania in Greencastle.  It was only about 10 miles from Four Seasons RV. 

Here is our campsite after the motorhome traveled 84 miles.

A lovely view of the dump station, but we didn't care since the fridge was working and the camping was cheap.

We got up in the morning and the fridge part of the refrigerator was 38 degrees!  We were happy, the repair was working.  We headed south. 

We stopped at Costco in Winchester, VA to stock up.  Then we headed south as far as we felt comfortable. 

After 234 miles we stopped at Dixie Caverns Campground in Salem, VA for the night.  They were full for the weekend so we did not see the caverns and could only stay one night.

We were going to head out of Virginia the next day.

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