Sunday, August 28, 2016

Camel's Hump Hike.

You can't head to VT and not squeeze in a hike.  We did a little research and picked Camel's Hump it is a VT 4000 footer.

It also had the remnants of a 1944 plane crash. It isn't often you get to see something like this.

The wreckage is a bit off the trail and we almost missed it. Most of it has been removed but this large section of wing still remains. There is probably more in the woods if you know where to look.
The plane was a World War II, a B-27J Bomber plane that crashed during a training mission.
The hike itself was over 6 miles round trip and had a lot of elevation gain. And also a lot of big boulders.

It didn't disappoint and had a lot of amazing views.

Large boulders on the final ascent.
View from the top. All in all a great hike.

Someday I think we need to spend a few weeks in VT hiking, I haven't hiked their much.

I'd like to do the entire Long Trail which is about 210 miles and crosses the state from north to south.

VT's mini Appalachian Trail.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

VT Wedding

The wedding was really just a BBQ to celebrate the marriage, it was really a lot of fun. It was in a pavilion at the top of the hill in the State Park. At the top was a viewing tower where you could get a 360 degree view of Vermont.

One of the grooms is a mycologist so there was a cake decorated with a mushroom!

Any many other delicious things to eat and fun people to hangout with.

We didn't know too many of the people but everyone was very friendly and easy to talk to.


There was also a lot of good beer and since most people us included are camping right there plenty of it could be enjoyed.

We got a good tip on two murder mystery shows we've never seen Bletchly Circle and Rosemary and Thyme both British shows. Bletchly Circle was pretty good if not a bit too dark!  Rosemary and Thyme was a little goofy and much much lighter.

This was pretty much the only traditional wedding activity at the party. Who can argue with traditions involving cake!

Vermont Wedding Trip Part 1

Aaaaah this beer tasted so good! Why?

Because we heading to VT with a FULLY Functional Trailer!

We stopped here at Worthy Burger in South Royalton VT for a walk, beer and lunch! They make delicious beer and burgers I highly recommend it if you are in VT.

 And it is good that we have a fully working set of tanks because Allis State Park where our friends are getting married and we are camping has no hookups at all.  It is a very pretty park and the sites are huge. They are also very free form so you just pull up wherever you want in the general area of your site.
While we got setup Tucker announced that he like the place by rolling all over the grass.

Walking around the camp we were parked next to a cool VW Camper that the owners had only recently purchased. It was great but they clearly weren't experienced RV'ers.

On the other side of us a few sites down a nice old couple was camped out and we got talking and many years ago they were actually responsible for developing the camping at this park.

They did a great job laying out the sites it sounded like a labor of love on their part.

The wedding was in the evening so we did some touring around. First stop was Fat Toad Farm which produces Goat Milk Caramel. (It is Christopher Kimbal's favorite and you can get it in Whole Foods). We were greeted by a pack of friendly dogs. Sadly they don't raise goats anymore they just buy goat milk from nearby farms.  Still we sample the Caramel and bought a few jars.

We also stopped to take a walk around Randolph VT the nearest little town to our State Park.

Best place we stopped was the Filling Station, the have a lot of beers on tap and will fill a 32 oz can and seal it up with the brew of your choice.  We've never seen the canning machine in action and this one is pretty cool. It was kind of antique-ish.

I've heard from the general beer community that Growlers are dead and these cans seem like a much lighter and better alternative. And they are easier to recycle.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sensor Repair

During our travels we spend a lot of time at RV parks where we don't have a water hookup. Many state and federal parks just don't have the fancy hookups of expensive private parks. Not to mention our stops at Walmarts and other free camping opportunities such as federal lands.

So knowing how much water we have left is usually pretty important.

Once again I pulled out the Dremel and a cutting wheel and went ahead and put another hole in my trailer.

This part of the trailer is thick plastic which cuts like butter, however behind the plastic are 2 very expensive to replace water tanks.

Luckily during the final tank repair I crawled under the trailer with the tech and we mapped out the exact location to cut to avoid the tanks and gain access to the sensor.

 Here is a good look at the hole I had to cut. Although it looks like light is coming in from the bottom that is just a flat LED light I used to see what I was doing. It is sitting inside the tank cover.

The existing sensor was clearly broken, I imagine the first tank repair broke off the outside of the sensor.
 The new sensor was pretty easy to install, I used some teflon tape and just screwed it in. I then plugged in the phone jack style connector and replaced the rubber water shield over the wire and plug.

I didn't get any pictures of that.
I don't think the newer Airstreams use a sensor that requires a hole in the tank. Sounds like a good idea to me.

After getting the tank sensor installed I had to run through the calibration process which is a lot more involved than it should be.

I am happy to say the new sensor seems to be working fine. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bumbling repairs.

Well it has been a long summer and we basically barely used the trailer at all. Turns out getting things fixed took a lot longer than expected.  I am writing this far far after the fact so I've calmed down which is good because getting the fresh water tank repaired turned out to be THE WORST customer service experience I've ever had.

As an avid DIY'er I first entertained the idea of dropping the tank cover and checking out the leak for myself. Wisely I decided I had no good/safe way to raise my trailer high enough to work on and decided to bite the bullet and pay to have it fixed.

On the way home from the Winter trip it was impossible to get an appointment at the factory so I found the nearest Airstream place at home which was far away and tiny. They also couldn't even look at the trailer inside of 3 or 4 months as they only have 2 repair guys and a long line.  Sadly this left me with C*mping World.

Long long long story short they repaired the tank, I drove it home, on the first fill it leaked, I drove it back and they fixed it again and I drove home and my tank sensor was now broken.  This repair took over 3 months and 3 trips back and forth to the repair shop which is about 100 miles from home.  It included many highlights including being left in the waiting room not being told my trailer for several hours only accidentally being noticed by the manager as he was closing up shop for the night. Oh it's been done for hours!  All this and the tank sensor had to be mailed to me and I had to install it myself or take another 200 mile round trip.  This repair was one of the most frustrating things I've ever done. It involved a lot of yelling and arguing and most of incompetence.

Did I also mention when I finally walked out to the trailer to hitch up and go home there was a big puddle under it?  Given all that I'd been through already I couldn't help but think this puddle came from my tank which was probably still broken.

A tech swore to me that the puddle was there before they parked the trailer. That being said I will say the tech that worked on my trailer today did seem very competent.

So much incompetence that in the end I didn't even pay a dime.  I had been so furious that I threatened to reverse the charge if they didn't refund me the money until the repair was completed the second time.  That threat turned out was pretty empty as my card company wasn't really willing to do anything. But it eventually worked so I hadn't paid for the repair. And when he found me on that final re-repair day as he walked out of the building to go home he didn't mention re-running my card so I didn't either....  Still I'd rather have paid the money and had it fixed in one trip any day.

Basically because of all this we barely used the trailer all summer. I had planned to do a few more short trips but it spent so much time in the shop the uncertainty made it impossible.