Back into the USA to sell (Vegas) Part 1

October 4, 2020, Trip: COVID 19 Times
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We know it’s been a while since our last post; it’s been busy and not too exciting travel wise.  

October 4th, 2020

About 50 km / 30 miles after we crossed north heading towards San Diego’s outskirts, we began getting a flashing engine light.  What now?  Our OBD reader said cylinder 7 was misfiring.  That sounded similar to the issue we’d just had fixed in Reno but the symptoms were different – it reminded Doug of a time back in Chile – and that too, was cylinder 7; that needed new spark plug wires.  Luckily we have spare ones and when we stopped for gas, he checked and it didn’t seem loose.  We had some lunch and got back on the road.  The engine light never came back on but the truck still felt like it was misfiring some.

We checked into another cheap hotel, got showered and cooled off.  We went out for “all day breakfast'” at Denny’s for dinner and Doug will look at the plugs in the morning when the engine is cool.

Monday morning, Doug went for his long run and then checked the plugs – one was a little off so he readjusted it and that seemed to fix the problem until we were down the road a ways and it shuddered again.   Now, the code reader says that the mass air flow sensor is acting up.  When we stopped later for gas, Doug checked under the hood and yes it the mass air flow contraption had popped up; that mechanic back in Reno had not reattached it correctly.  The engine was too hot to do anything about it now so we waited until the morning.  We arrived in Pahrump and let out friend, Kirsi, know we were parked near where she was camped.   She and her dog, Jack, walked over to see us and then we all walked over to her site in the monthly campground she’s temporarily living at.  We did not want to camp there as it was a little pricy and there was BLM land a few hundred metres away where we could camp free.

We spent about three hours visiting her and her neighbour, Loretta, who had brought over a large jug of homemade sangria.

Tuesday, we spent the day at our site, doing our daily walks and chillin’.  We had hoped to meet up with Kirsi again for happy hour but Jack needed a vet and she spent the day dealing with that.  We hope his issues get sorted.

After a second quiet night on the BLM land, we met Kirsi at her mailbox company and picked up the packages we’d had sent to her before making out way to Vegas.  Tigger seemed to be “purring” along until we’d been driving about 30 minutes and we began to feel a shudder again but this time, no engine light and no codes were coming up.  We were quite perplexed and frustrated.  So our plans for the day had to start with finding a mechanic.

It was midday and we tried three different places; one did a better diagnostic than our OBD reader could but showed nothing.  They told us to come back in the morning first thing.  So we decided to camp at the Hitching Post (where we’d lived back in 2014 for a few months when we first moved into Tigger) as it was right across the street.  We got settled, called a mobile mechanic whose card we found in the office here, but he charges $100 just to come out!  So we’ll wait till morning.  We spent the afternoon getting some ads up for Tigger, voting by completing our mail in ballots and catching up on things.  We seemed to be having issues getting hot water again – gas was working but water was not getting hot.  Doug tried many troubleshooting ideas but nothing seemed to work.  Maybe we need a new regulator (again!).

First thing Thursday morning, Doug took the rig across the street to the mechanic while Fran stayed behind to take advantage of the cheap laundromat here.  She was done before the 11 am check out time and joined Doug at the garage.  It was slow going and so far they had not sorted the problem.  While waiting Doug found a place that sold LP regulators and took the long walk over to buy one.  He installed it while the mechanics continued working and still NO hot water.  He was flummoxed.

By this time we had heard from a couple interested in the rig; they were driving from California today and would meet us on Friday.  Now we really had to move fast.  Fran sorted out finding a short term storage unit and after the mechanics did a number of things, it seemed the issue was fixed (so we’re not exactly sure what the issue actually was).  Yeah!  After paying the bill we headed to the storage unit and spent three hours emptying Tigger of everything while keeping what we’d need for the condo we’d rented starting the next day.  It was exhausting and hot.

We had been trying to get the smallest unit we could and when Fran chatted online with an agent at Extra Storage, she gave her a 5×5 for the first month free so all we had to pay was the admin fee and insurance.  If we don’t need to go beyond the first month, we just cancel – no contract.  When got to the place, the office gave us a 5×10′ unit as he had no 5×5’s and it was good thing after all.  Who knew we had had this much stuff?!:

Around 7 when we were done, we decided not to boondock and took a hotel room so we could have hot showers.  First thing Friday morning (7am) we headed to a truck washing place to get Tigger all shiny and clean.  We then parked in the parking lot of a half empty strip mall in North Las Vegas so that we could completely clean all the storage spots and the entire inside.  While cleaning another interested party, Bunny, called from Utah and said she was going to have a friend who lives in Vegas call us to set up a viewing time to have a look at it for her.  Cleaning took us another three hours.  In the meantime, Doug figured out the hot water problem and all was working again.

Bob and Betsy showed up after lunch and we showed them all around and they took it for a test drive.  After discussing it amoungst themselves, they felt that wanted to wait a bit as they wanted to discuss possible renos with a friend of their before making the decision.

It’s now about 1:30 and we head to our condo at the Carriage House to check in and get settled.  We have a lovely studio suite with a full kitchen.

Meanwhile we did some more searching for a truck and trailer and we think on Monday we’ll head to look at some.

Saturday, after dropping off our election ballots at the post office to get correct postage (SD wants $1 on it), we did a shopping trip to stock up on food for the week.  In the afternoon we strolled out to the Strip (we are about a block away) to find a Fat Tuesday and enjoy a frosty alcoholic slushy.  There were more people than we are comfortable around in these times (most wearing masks but a few not and those wearing were not always wearing correctly – what is it with people!?!?!).  So after getting a large cup to share a pina colada slushie, we headed off strip to walk back.  Today the temps are in the high 20’s C / 80’s F with a slight breeze.

Before dinner, Fran went downstairs to check out the hot tub and it was empty so we felt comfortable going for a soak and enjoying a cold one on our own.  The hotel (and all types of businesses) are mandated by the governor to require masks be worn indoors (but, of course, it’s not always enforced) and in our building there is hand sanitizer in many locations – all the staff here seem to be complying.

Sunday, Doug went for his weekly long run and the sun continued to shine – just what we like to see.  Fran was actually able to do a yoga session as she’s beginning to feel her strength coming back.  Afterwards, we drove to our storage unit to get a few things touched up on Tigger: fixing the front step, removing the back hitch cover that appeared to be “cemented” in; gluing a few things back in place and repairing a hole we’d found in the outside cubby floor that we found when we emptied it. The storage unit is where all the tools are.

That afternoon we decided to book another bonus week here at the Carriage Week; we couldn’t get the cheaper studio but did see a one bedroom.

Monday morning, we went to check out Dodge Rams, Chevy Silverados and Toyota Tundras – couldn’t get any prices we were happy with so the search continues.

Upon returning to the condo, we got a call from the Booking Desk downstairs who had received our reservation for Friday immediately following this one.  She advised that the unit we booked does not have a full kitchen and we could move smoothly.  When we expressed our disappointment, she worked with us a bit and got us a one bedroom with a full kitchen if we could move today rather than Friday.  Done deal – it was right next door and much larger.  She had advised it had a queen bed not king, but she was incorrect so we lucked out.  We got ourselves moved from 522 to 520 and settled in once again.

Chikungunya update:  We’re pretty much done – no remaining recurring painful joints but a few twinges; Fran still has some numbness and stiffness in her two middle fingers and as mentioned above, her strength is returning so she’s begun practicing yoga again.  So it’s taken four and a half months but we are extremely happy to be at this ending stage.

Tuesday, we got a low ball offer on Tigger which we countered and we were told he was going to get back us (he never did).  We strolled over to the MGM to Fat Tuesday and we found the shortcut in that takes you from outside right to it!  We opted to buy a second cup and each enjoyed a mudslide flavour which is the best in our opinion.

Wednesday, truck discussion became more serious and we honed in on the Tundra we wanted in Oklahoma City.   By day’s end we’d made a deposit and had a plan to rent a car to drive there next Friday when we check out of this condo.   Doug arranged the insurance and we had a bank draft and paperwork in our hands.

To celebrate, we went out for Fat Tuesday’s mudslides and strolled over to watch the fountains at the Bellagio; got a spot all to ourselves and enjoyed:

We also narrowed down the search for trailers by confirming in our minds what floor plan we wanted and will continue to search.

Thursday, we posted the ad for Tigger in a few more places and got four hits all, as usual, sounding very interested …..

That afternoon after running the dishwasher, we noticed water backing up into both the kitchen and bathroom sinks.  We waited until after it finished and it seemed to recede but by dinner time, no water was going down the drain.  We called the Front Desk and a plumber came up to check it out while we kept our distance in the living area.  After a few attempts, he advised it was not an easy fix and we should call the desk tomorrow morning and get a new suite.

So Friday we moved rooms again, but this time on a different floor.  We still had a one bedroom suite but it’s smaller with no bathtub.

We received several more queries about Tigger that day but we’re still waiting….

We continue to get in our walking and exercise – Fran is back to do yoga (most poses anyway) and we enjoy the resort’s hot tub when it’s empty.  We have not gone into a casino and if we go on the Strip, we stick to the less busy side, wear masks and keep our distance as much as possible.

Saturday and Sunday brought a few more queries and more trailer searching.   We also began looking for storage for Tigger in case we buy and trailer and have not sold it yet.  We also had to run back to the storage unit to pick up a few things for our trip to Oklahoma City next weekend as it will be much cooler weather there than here and we have no long pants, long sleeved shirts or jackets!

We have narrowed our trailer search to a few different models and have made contact with various sellers so we’ll wait and see how things pan out.

Monday we received two more queries on Tigger but still no progress until the afternoon, when a fellow who’d reach out a few times said he was going to the bank to get his pre approved loan completed and would fly out next week – here’s hoping!  As this guy was specifically asking about heated tanks, Doug went out to see if the switch was working as we’d never used them.  It appeared they weren’t but he worked on it and they seem to have power going to them.  We then went out to run some errands and saw that the backup camera wasn’t working!  Could it have something to do with what Doug worked on this morning?  Didn’t make sense as the plans for the Tiger show the camera wires doing through the ceiling….Doug tried all sorts of things but we never got it working so we’ll try and find a place tomorrow to work on that.

The weather here is still rather record breaking the weather reports say; it’s the 158th day of sunshine this year AND it’s still hitting the low 30’s C / low 90’s F by late afternoon – we love it!  Remember it’s a dry heat so NO humidity.

So Tuesday we headed out to sort out where to store Tigger while we drive to pick up our new truck and possibly camp there afterward – either in Tigger (which we’d rather not do as it’s now empty and clean) or in a new trailer if we find one on the way back.  We have five in mind to possibly check out.

So we found a stereo place that could work on the camera issue in the afternoon.  THEN we began hearing a squealing from the rear brakes (which has just been checked in Mexico).  We bought some brake cleaner hoping that would clear it up but of course not.  We have spare brake pads to give the new owner so we went to a few mechanic shops to see about getting them swapped out today.  First place said come back in the morning and later we found one that could take us right away.  After a half hour they gave up as they claimed they could not remove the calipers – WTH?  So we left and went to the stereo place.

At the car audio shop, Jose checked out the situation and discovered that Doug mistakenly had cut a wire that was the camera wire – turns out the wires run underneath until they reach the closet and then take a turn up to the roof.  So that is now sorted.

Across the street from the audio place, Fran saw a garage that did brakes so we crossed the street and they were able to take us right away.  As we figured it could take a while attempting to get the calipers off, we went to grab a bite in the next block and brought it back to eat on a outdoor table at the shop.  As we finished eating, we noticed him packing up so we figured he’d given up; NOPE – he was done!  We left and did a bit of test driving to be sure.  Upon returning to our condo, we changed, grabbed some beer and went for a soak in the hot tub as the pool area was empty.  That night we had an offer from a couple for Tigger but it was rather low so we passed for now.

Wednesday, we had a few more bites on Tigger and this point, don’t expect anything to happen until next week especially with us going out of town for at least 4 days to pick up our truck and look at some trailers.  We took a walk in the morning to the strip further up than we have been going just to check it.  Being morning and all, it was pretty quiet and we didn’t feel too uncomfortable. Most people that were out like us, had masks on and we were for the most part, able to keep our distance.

In the afternoon we did look at that trailer here in Vegas.  Brad brought the trailer nearby and we had a chat, asked questions and looked inside and out.  It ticks many boxes but of the 5 we have narrowed our search down to, it’s the most expensive as well as the longest.  We have not ruled it out but hope something shorter works out in SLC. Upon returning to Tigger we learned one of the SLC one’s had a deal pending so we’re down to three up there.

We have begun moving things from our condo back to Tigger; tomorrow we will take it to the campground, register and get a spot.  We pick up our rental car around 5 so after that we will park Tigger at the campground for the duration of our road trip.

That night we heard back from the couple who had given us a low ball offer asking about what our best offer had been so we advised them but also said that offer had never materialized.  Then we got a call from a new interested party and after a 30 minute call, said they’d call back tomorrow with an offer.  We’ll see…

Thursday we began to prepare for our road trip; did laundry, began moving things we don’t need on that trip into Tigger, going to the campground to register for the spot for Tigger, going to get one last Fat Tuesday Mudslide (!), picking up our rental car and then leaving Tigger at the campground.  Enroute, the spark plugs seemed to acting up again; so frustrating.

We also received another phone response to our for sale ads and Doug spent a great deal of time chatting with the fellow.  During that call a guy we’d spoken to earlier, called back and made an offer subject to arranging a third party inspection next week.  We let the other interested parties know and the fellow from Denver, said he was planning to offer $1 more but was still awaiting his loan approval.  So there are a few balls in the air in this regard.

 

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