Friday, May 05, 2006

Long trips and possible problems

Hmm, some catching up. We ended up taking Patches to the vet before we left Robertsdale as she was doing a lot of sneezing. Since she came from an animal shelter and had been exposed to who knows what we decided to have her checked out. The vet seemed to think it was a cold rather than cat flu, so Patches is now taking Amoxicillin and we're hoping that helps. She's still sneezing, but her appetite is good and she's playful.

Our trip from Robertsdale to a remote campground west of Perry, Florida took us 5 1/2 hours due to road construction and missing a turn along the way. We learned a valuable lesson, too. County roads can turn from gravel to soft dirt and driving 6 miles of soft dirt roads pulling a 17,000 pound trailer is not a good thing. The air inside the truck was a bit blue with swear words before it was all over! Fortunately I was able to call the campground to make sure we were going the right way because there was no way to turn around in that soft sand. It was at that point that the gal at the office told us that she always directs people to go all the way into Perry, which is another 20 miles down the road and then drive 20 miles back on a different, paved road to get to the campground. I guess going 40 miles out of our way would have been better for everyone's nerves all the way around. County roads don't show up on my Magellan mapping software (something else that has become a bone of contention) so we were traveling on a wing and a prayer for a while.

The good news is that Patches slept through most of the trip so we're hoping she'll continue to travel well. That's the main reason we went with a kitten instead of an older cat; we wanted one that hadn't developed any phobias about riding in a vehicle. Before we started fulltiming, our last cat only got in the car to go to the veterinarian's office, so she related riding in the car to pain/discomfort.

The bad news may be we may still have a problem with that rebuilt transmission we had installed in Oregon last August; when we had our oil changed today they checked the fluid levels and couldn't even see any transmission fluid on the dipstick. That's not a good thing! We told them not to put any in as we would take the truck to the Ford dealership and see if they could see a leak or a problem. Naturally, it was lunch time so the transmission man was out to lunch, but the manager pulled up our old records to see if we were still under warranty (should be) and to see if they had put in synthetic transmission fluid as we had requested or regular transmission fluid so the mechanics here would know what to use when they filled it. It seems that the other dealership used regular transmission fluid, or so the parts man figured out from the codes on our paperwork. Sigh. I sure hope so because otherwise we're in big trouble mixing the two.

The decision was made for us to put some cardboard under the truck overnight to see if there was a leak as the manager said it could be that the last dealership just didn't put enough transmission fluid in after they had done the repairs. Which meant that I had to go dumpster diving to look for cardboard as that's not something I keep on hand. What a morning!

I definitely think it's time for a nap. We're stressed. And it looks like we may be a bit poorer soon.

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