August 29, 2020

Plenty Of Play While Still Working

During the Covid-19 shutdowns of March, April and May 2020, we were stationary at our rental pad in Sacramento, CA.  During that time we were primarily fabricating sneeze guards for the local hospitals.  This kept us very busy working 6-7 days a week and I had a hard time keeping up on my blog posts.  We officially left Sacramento on June 8th and have been traveling ever since.  Stay safe!   

Rainier was down and out for about five weeks during September and October 2019.
He went in for Open Cab Surgery!

It was such a shock to see him like this at first.  But then, the marvel of the whole thing was so intriguing.  I mean, how often does someone get an inside look at their engine in such a manner?!  The cab was suspended above the engine using four arms.  Once the work is complete the cab goes back on in the exact same alignment as when it came off.   

our service writer and the mechanic
Ron gets a close look too

WOW, our first word when we saw Rainier like this

the damaged wiring harness

After a closer inspection it was determined that the main wiring harness was fried.  Apparently it isn't engineered very well because the cause was exhaust steam coming extremely close to the wires.  AND it was likely the cause of all of our aggravation back in Pennsylvania.

these wires sure caused us grief!

Since Rainier was in the shop anyway, we decided to go ahead and replace the turbo (it had 201K miles on it) and get some work done on the AC system at the same time.     

This hiccup put us behind on some jobs we had in Southern California.  Then came the rainy weather.  We were delayed until the end of November 2019.  We sure are thankful to have awesome customers who understand and are very patient!

November 30th we were on our way down south once more.  We made it as far as Merced before darkness came.  We aren't Elks members (eventually we will) but the Lodge in Merced has an RV park that welcomes all traveling visitors.  We paid our $25 donation and found a nice level pull through spot to rest for the night.

Our next stop was once again Valencia Travel Park for work in nearby Fillmore, CA.  Our friends, Bill and Jodee, were also at VTP to visit with their family.  Dinner at the local pizza parlor was definitely a must-do!  Eating delicious pizza while watching the Seattle Seahawks football game with friends was priceless :-)  Darn it-no picture...  Next time!

This preschool/after school care center is used for the children of migrant farm workers who attend classes at the elementary school next door.  It opens for the spring and summer picking seasons and then closes during the winter months.  There are two play structures.  This one had a couple of cracks near the exit that we repaired.  Our repair blends in so well it's hard to see :-)

Moving further south we arrived at Paradise By The Sea RV Resort in Carlsbad, CA.  Our back in site was just big enough for us to get into.  However Rainier had to park sideways.  The sites are narrow and cement.  It was fine for our two night stay.

The best part about this RV park is it's closeness to the beach!  There is a secured gate leading to an access walk.  One direction takes you along the Loma Alta Creek Nature Trail.  The other direction takes you to Buccaneer Beach.  Guess which way Rufus and I went... 

to the beach, of course :-)

Buccaneer Beach has a playground, a large field, a picnic area, a basketball court and just across the street is access to the beach.  The Loma Alta Creek ends at the beach.  Since we didn't want to go wading we stuck to this side of the creek.  December isn't usually warm but the day we wandered down to the beach it was sunny and definitely short sleeved weather.

Our job site was in San Clemente.  We had visited this park a few years ago for a repair on a different slide.  We're happy to report that our previous repair is still holding up!

This time visiting the park was a bit different.  Due to the shorter winter days we ended up finishing after the sun had set.  We bring headlamps and small flood lamps for such times.  We had originally thought only one slide was needing repair.  However, after our arrival a city worker told us about a second broken slide.  Although we hadn't planned on two repairs, we were there and we couldn't leave one in disrepair.  So, we stayed until the job was finished.  Another happy PolyMenders customer!

slide #1 before
slide #1, after

slide #2, before
slide #2, after

After our work in San Clemente was complete, we once again hitched Raven and Rainier.  Our drive today was to new territory for us-San Diego.  The last time we were down here together was when Alex was a toddler.  Our main focus during our six nights at Santee Lakes Recreation Area was to do sales calls in the area.  We know San Diego is a good location to work during the winter months.  What better way to get new customers than to meet them face to face.  Our sales visits paid off.  We'll be coming back to work in San Diego soon :-)

Our site, #132, was perfect!  Plenty of open space full of sunshine, a covered picnic table and a small creek behind us.  The loop we were in is near the middle of the campground.   The recreation area offers fishing, playgrounds, a separate day use area, small water craft rentals, a convenience store, camping cabins (some are even on the lake!), RV storage, laundry facilities, a clubhouse for rent and miles of walking paths.

Our last repair jobs of this trip took us back on a northern route.  Yucaipa Regional Park offered us a central location for the last two repair jobs.  We really enjoyed this park and we'll definitely be back.  The campground offers very spacious sites!     

When we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, we had the place nearly to ourselves.  We ventured around the park and discovered why it's a popular destination for the locals.

paddle boat rentals

swimming lagoon complete with water slides
Of course, the paddle boats and slides are closed at this time of year.  In addition to these two popular areas, the park offers hiking trails in the nearby hills, fishing, basketball hoops, a playground and separate tent & RV camping areas.  We enjoyed a brilliant sunset that night!

Our main reason for being in the area was work.  A local elementary school has a triple slide with a giant hole in the exit needing repair.  We love it when we can save schools from buying new equipment and the kiddos get their slide back.








back in operation!

dangerous slide condition



Nearby was our last repair for this trip.  The preschool had a slide with a crack that needed repair.  As usual, it came out great!



YIPPEE-we're done with working so now let's have some fun!

Tony and Ron worked together for a few years before Tony and his family moved to the central coastal area of California.  We've remained friends through the years.  We've spent several vacations together as well.  It's always a blast when we get to see them!  We were hoping to camp together on our way north as they recently bought a new-to-them motor home.  However, Mary's family would soon be visiting for the holidays and they didn't want to go anywhere.  Instead they invited us to come and spend a couple of nights on their property.  Our first moochdocking experience :-)  

all set up in front of their barn

the main house is just up the drive

guys vs. girls

After a fun game of corn-hole, Tony BBQ'd some tri-tip steaks for a delicious dinner.  Stories of bygone days were numerous as were the smiles, laughter and hugs :-)) 

our end site, all by ourselves in a huge park
We had one more stop before our return to our Sacramento pad.  Black Oak Casino Resort has an RV park across the street from their casino.  We've stayed at the casino once when we had work in the area during our pre-RV days.  My cousin, David, was visiting his parents who live nearby.  We were looking forward to seeing everyone.  Unfortunately, I got the sniffles and a mild sore throat the day before we were scheduled to see them.  Uncle John and Aunt Sandi are in their 80's and their health is quite fragile.  No way I was about to give them the sickies :-(  David and his girlfriend, Dee, weren't about to leave without seeing us though.  We met at the casino restaurant and enjoyed a burger and drinks.  Darn-didn't get a photo this time...  

Ron and I arrived back at our pad a few days before Christmas.  This latest trip lasted about a month.  Our next trip is already scheduled.  We're looking forward to a new adventure: an Escapees Hangout in Tucson!        



  1. Good to see a post from you!! Seeing everyone in cold weather clothes makes it seem so long ago :-) Hope you get lots of work in the San Diego area, it's got such great weather all year 'round. That park in Yucaipa looks great. As we have friends in the area I've put it on the list!

    1. It really does seem like a lifetime ago... Yes, we had good success with San Diego :-) Yucaipa's RV sites are spaced pretty far apart and the depth on most of them is plenty long for any size rig. Plenty of open areas for Tessa zoomies too!


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