Friday, September 20, 2013


We had planned to leave Saturday and spend a long day on the road – it is 466 miles from our home in Kingston to the Ocean View Campground in Ocean View, New Jersey.  That’s quite a bit further than the 350 miles we try to average each day when we travel in the RV.  So with just a bit of whimpering and whining I convinced Carol that we should get a few miles under our belt on Friday.


We pulled away from home at 2:12 p.m. and then we pulled away again at 2:58 p.m.  We had a false start.  We were eastbound, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from home when Carol slapped her forehead and said, “Gosh, golly, gee whiz, dagnab it!” (or words to that effect!)  Seems she had forgotten to bring the dogs passports.  So, we drove on to the next exit, turned around and headed back home to get the puppies medical records.  We’ve only been asked for them once at the border, but if you don’t have them you can be sure they’ll ask.


This was an interesting border crossing.  Friday afternoon at about 3:30 it was a bit busier than we normally see . . . but the interesting part was in the lane next to us.  The US Border Service agent in our lane pulled out a big orange drum to block the lane and then walked next door to help out his co-worker.  They asked the driver to step out of his car, then pulled his arms behind his back, handcuffed him and marched him off into the nearby building.  It was like a free floor show . . . Carol and I both like cop dramas on TV . . . but without the sound track we couldn’t figure out what was going on!


In just a few minutes our agent was back and we were soon waved through!  Traffic was light and moving very well so we made good time.  We pulled over in Watertown New York and I put $100.00 worth of gas in the beast . . . we didn’t have enough to get us to the FlyingJ Truck Stop where we planned to spend the night.


We were quickly back on the road and carried on southward on Interstate 81.  At about 5:00 p.m. we started looking for rest areas to give the dogs a break, but we passed one after another – they were all closed!  Finally at 6:30 we pulled off; the Whitney Point rest area in the very southern part of the state was still open.  I walked the dogs while Carol got their dinner ready.  Once again we were back on the road quickly and cruised along at a steady 63 miles per hour.  We pulled off at the FlyingJ, New Milford Pennsylvania at about 7:45 p.m.  We covered 226 miles and shortened our driving day tomorrow to about 240 miles.  Carol says we can celebrate by stopping at the Disney Store in Allentown tomorrow.  It’s just a few miles off the highway!


We had a late dinner at Denny’s then played on the computer until bedtime!  It was an early night.  We were both in bed by 10:30 . . . Carol read her book until the wee small hours . . . possibly as late as 10:45!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Aaahh!  There’s nothing like the scent if diesel and the roar of truck engines to induce a deep and restful sleep.  NOT!


Carol and I both tossed and turned all night, with a few very brief dozes now and then.  When Carol got up I checked my watch . . . it was 5:30 and still quite dark.  But sleep would not come!  “Do you want to get rolling?” I asked.  She quickly replied, “Yup!”   So in a flash we were both up and moving.  I started getting dressed and before I was done she announced, “The bedroom slide won’t retract.”  That’s not good news . . . that meant our coach batteries were dead!


The motor home has three batteries, one which powers the truck chassis and starts the engine.  The other two batteries run all the lights, fans, slide-out rooms, hydraulic jacks, etc. in the coach.  The alternator on the engine should have charged those two batteries as we drove south yesterday.  For some reason, it didn’t.  No problem, I’ll just start up the on-board generator; it will power everything and we can pull in the bedroom slide.  Ooops . . . that didn’t work either, you need those two coach batteries to start the generator.  Dang! (or words to that effect!)


We walked into the truck stop and picked up coffee, then Carol walked and fed the dogs while I unhooked the tow car and drove it around to the storage hatch containing the coach batteries.  I used the car battery to boost the coach batteries, started the generator and we were back in business.  Carol ran the slide in while I re-connected the car and then we pulled around to the gas pumps and filled up – 58 gallons - $192.00!  Carol walked the dogs one more time and got more coffee and a breakfast sandwich for me while I cleaned several smeared layers of dead bugs off the windshield.  We pulled out at 6:45 a.m. with the generator still running.  I let it run for about two hours to charge up those batteries!

Within a half hour we left I-81 behind and took our first drive ever on I-476, known as The Pennsylvania Turnpike.  A sign along the roadside called it “America’s First Superhighway”.  It might have been “super” when they opened it in the 1950’s but it’s sure not super anymore.  I cannot believe that we paid $18.45 in tolls to drive about 115 miles on what is probably the worst highway in America.  Carol spent a lot of time hunting for a squeak in the dash while I wrestled with the steering wheel as we bounced, swayed and careened down the highway.  There may have been some nice scenery . . . we’re not really sure.

At 8:30 we stopped briefly at a service centre near Allentown.  After the dogs had a walk and the driver had a stretch we took to the roads again for the final leg of the day’s journey.  Soon we passed through the heart of downtown Philadelphia and crossed the Delaware River into Camden New Jersey.  Wow . . . good roads at last.  Of course, there was a toll to pay every few miles.  I think we probably spent more than $50.00 in tolls today.  At one point Carol said, “These tolls are expensive; it might have been cheaper for us to fly down here.”

We headed east on the Atlantic City Expressway and then turned south on the Garden State Parkway to our home for the next five nights, Ocean View Resort at Ocean View, New Jersey.  We pulled in at 11:00 and were quickly checked in.  We headed directly to our site and started setting up for our stay.  By 12:15 we were all done!  Aaahhh!  The dogs are so happy when all three slides go out.  They know they’ll be staying put for a while!


We enjoyed a sandwich in the RV, then I took a much needed shower before we loaded the dogs in the car and took a drive to reconnoiter the area.  We drove south down State Route 9, as far as we could go, then headed to the water.  Alas, there are no dogs allowed on the beach until after October 31st.

At the southernmost tip of the town of Cape May we stopped quickly and Carol ran out to get a few pictures of Sunset Beach.  Off in the distance was the Cape May Lighthouse, at the very southern tip of the Jersey Shore - Cape May Point.

Carol really enjoys lighthouses so off we went, looking for that big beacon.  When we got there we were thrilled to discover that dogs were allowed.  Like it or not, the dogs were heading to the surf!  Zak enjoyed his outing . . . Blue was a bit frightened by the breaking waves!

Then we followed the Atlantic coast as we slowly made our way back north toward the campground.  We saw several wedding parties, one entire bridal party was having a picnic in an outdoor pavilion at the Cape may Lighthouse.  Another, a huge wedding party with at least a dozen bridesmaids, was having a photo session on Sunset Beach, then they all boarded a tour trolley and rode off somewhere else! 


This is an amazing area, beautiful white sand beaches, fabulous harbors, plenty of interesting looking attractions, wonderful hotels and restaurants . . . we will have plenty to see and do over the next few days!

We poked into every nook and cranny of the coastline but we were only about half way back when 5:00 p.m. rolled around.  That’s the dog’s dinner time so we headed to the Garden State Parkway and made a bee-line for home.

Once the dogs were fed and watered it was our turn.  A lady in the campground office had recommended Dino’s Diner in nearby Seaview, so off we went for dinner at Dino’s Diner.  Fortunately they were not licensed . . . I don’t think I could say “dinner at Dino’s Diner” after a couple of Manhattans!


Dinner at Dino’s Diner was divine!  Carol had a nice shrimp scampi and I had a seafood combination plate with shrimp, scallops and flounder.  It was all well prepared and the portions were huge.  Neither of us could finish!

Since we still had some daylight after dinner we drove on a bit further west to Tuckahoe.  There was no real reason to go there and there was nothing to see, but Carol just thought it sounded good.  Tuckahoe – Tuckahoe – Tuck-a-hoe!  She liked the way it felt as it rolled off her tongue!


The dogs were happy to see us when we rolled back in at about 7:30.  We are in a very quiet back corner of an almost empty campground.  We should sleep a whole lot better tonight!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Today we didn’t have to rush, we could sleep in.  So we did!  Once again neither of us slept too well last night . . . it rained all night.  The showers started at about 10:00 p.m. and didn’t stop until just before we got up at 7:00.  So sleeping in felt good!


We lazed around for a few hours and then decided it was a good day to tour Atlantic City.  We were in the car and northbound on the Garden State Parkway by 9:30 a.m.  The dogs stayed behind in the RV . . . we didn’t think they’d be allowed on the boardwalk.

We stopped at a Visitor Information Centre just on the outskirts of the city – they were very helpful!


We parked at Caesar’s Palace and headed toward the Boardwalk.


Ooops . . . some slot machines got in our way.  I fed $20.00 into one and it was gone almost instantly.  I fed I another $20.00 and this time it lasted about 20 minutes.  As I pushed the button for my last roll Carol came along . . . she had lost even more than I had!  That was all the slots we could afford, so we were off again looking for the boardwalk.

Through the rest of the casino, up an escalator, across a bridge and down an elevator . . . and there it was!  WOW!


What a terrific place.  It’s a seaside wonderland!

We walked for a few minutes and then a taxi driver pusher came by pushing a rolling chair.  The boardwalk is thronged with these moving chairs.  You sit in them and a driver/guide pushes you along the boardwalk while describing the area and its history.

We covered several blocks during our chair tour and made one stop so Carol could buy some salt-water taffy.

Our chair was comfortable but our guide was a total bust!  We heard nothing about the boardwalk except that our guide had spent 5 years in prison.  The parole board sent him to Atlantic City as part of his rehab and he’s been here for years.  We decided that he was not the best ambassador for Atlantic City so we cut our half-hour ride short, paid him and said goodbye in front of the Taj Mahal Casino.


After ditching the annoying guide we did a quick tour of the Taj Mahal and then slowly strolled the boardwalk all the way back to Caesar’s Palace snapping pictures all the way.

We stopped at Tommy’s Seaside Grill & Pizzeria.  Carol had a Philly Cheese steak and I had a Monte Cristo.  Both were yummy!

Once we arrived back at Caesar’s I waited near the parking garage while Carol made a quick dash to the nearby Disney Store.  She bought a few nice Christmas ornaments and we were soon on our way!


Carol decided on behalf of both of us that Atlantic City is a place we will visit again.  We will leave the dogs home and stay at Caesar’s Palace.  This will almost certainly happen around the time of our 14th wedding anniversary. 


So nice that I’m involved in this sort of decision!   

We followed Atlantic Avenue south past plenty of casinos before leaving Atlantic City behind.  We passed through neighbouring Ventnor and then in Margate we saw the world’s biggest elephant – Lucy.  Lucy is sort of a Trojan Elephant – she stands six stories high and was made in 1881 to promote a land development.  Lucy is now a National Historic Site.

Soon it was time to leave the shore and head back to the expressway for a dash back to the campground.  The dogs had been on their own for over five hours – we needed to get them out for a walk!


We spent a leisurely afternoon with the dogs (this means we napped) before feeding them and heading out to find our dinner.

We were on the road by 5:30, southbound on State Route 9, looking for the WalMart, Walgreens, Kmart, Spirit Halloween and Lowes stores we had seen yesterday.  They were a bit further away than we remembered but we found the area where they are all clustered, the town of Rio Grande, within about 20 minutes.  I went into Walgreens for a few minutes, then went out and waited in the car while Carol finished shopping.  NOTE:  We have been away for three days and this is the first time I’ve sat in the car reading while she shopped.  I think that’s a new record!

Soon we moved on to Kmart where I sat waiting and reading again.  After scouring Kmart she was quite hungry so we adjourned to the nearby Rio Grande Diner.  The banners outside proclaim it was voted the best diner in Cape May County for 2008, 2012 and 2013.  The voters got it right!  It was very good.


We made one final shopping and reading stop at WalMart before heading home.  The dogs were delighted when we pulled in at about 9:00 p.m.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I hit the ground shivering this morning!  We have had great weather this trip, warm sunny days with temperatures in the high 70’s each day, so it was quite a surprise to wake up at 5:30 this morning to find that it was 51 degrees in the motor home.  Brrr!  I popped out of bed, turned the furnace on and popped back under the covers.  Soon it was toasty and warm again (but not until Carol got up and nudged the thermostat a bit higher!)


We got up shortly after 7:00 and puttered for a few hours before hitting the road.  Once again we left the dogs behind.  The boardwalks here are beautiful but they sure have some repressive dog policies!

We headed north on the Garden State Parkway and took Route 623 east to Ocean City.  The 40 mile coastline from Cape May north to Atlantic City is almost a solid strand of beautiful white sand beaches and wonderful little seaside resort towns and villages.  Each town seems to have it’s own boardwalk along the ocean, complete with arcades, restaurants, gift shops and amusement parks.  Many of the summer homes lining the ocean are just breathtaking.  As you drive through this area it’s hard to remember that America is still recovering from some major economic challenges!


We headed to the beach and boardwalk in central Ocean City and walked north for about a half hour.  Beautiful!

Carol saw “the best fudge shop ever” so she had to stop and buy some.  Just moments later she spotted an even better “best fudge shop ever” so she stopped and bought some more. 

We turned south and retraced our steps back to the car, soaking up the sights, the sun, the sand and the salt air.  Nice!

We drove south, hugging the shore as tightly as we could, passing through Strathmere, Whale Beach, Sea Isle City, Avalon and Stone Harbor before leaving the coast and heading for lunch in a little town with the odd name of Cape May Court House.  We ate in the Cape May Court House Diner and Carol remarked, “This trip is turning into the New Jersey diner tour!”  She was right – we’ve tried several diners so far and none have disappointed.

After lunch we made a few very quick shopping stops at Dollar Tree, Hallmarks, JC Penny, Spirit Halloween and Lowes before heading back to the campground.  The pups were pleased to see us when we arrived back home at 2:30 p.m.

By 5:30 Zak and Blue had been fed and walked so we took off in search of dinner.  Carol had spotted a restaurant, Sunset Pier, in Sea Isle City as we drove past it this afternoon.  She googled it and decided the menu looked good, so off we went!  No diner tonight!


It was a beautiful setting . . . the restaurant sits on the shore of Townsend’s Inlet, part of the Inland Waterway.  We knew as soon as we pulled up that the sunset view tonight would be breathtaking.

When we got to the door and noticed the “Closed” sign we were both crestfallen!  Boo!  Hiss!


So we drove on, looking for a diner!  Hey, everything is closed!  Even the pizzerias are closed!  The owners here must make a ton of money in July and August if they can get away with only opening on weekends in September.


We tried a rustic seaside area called Fish Alley – it looked great, but mostly closed.  One place was open but it seemed to be only “To-Go”


We found ourselves back at Seaville, just north of our campground where we had an OK meal at the Seaville Tavern.  It was nowhere near as good as any of the diners we have sampled.


I think Carol has decided on The Lobster House in Cape May for tomorrow’s dinner.  We plan to tour Cape May tomorrow morning so we’ll check it out to be sure it’s still open!


We were home with the dogs by 8:00 p.m. and settled in front of the television.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This morning went to the dogs!  Our poor puppies have been cooped up in the motor home these last few days while Carol and I have been exploring the amazing local beaches and boardwalks.  We decided that this morning we would try to find a dog park or somewhere the pups could walk with us.


We were up at about 7:00 a.m. and followed our typical lazy morning routine – a pot of coffee and an hour catching up on Internet nonsense.  Then we showered, loaded the dogs in the car and hit the road. 


We pulled out at 9:00 and headed to the shore at Wildwood, just a bit south of where we are camped.  When we passed through Wildwood on Saturday there was some sort of Irish Festival underway . . . the streets were lined with thousands of drunken people in green t-shirts.  So we didn’t see the Wildwood beach or boardwalk on Saturday.  We were hoping that dogs might be allowed.  NOPE – there were plenty of signs all very clearly marked “No dogs”.


We drove on south looking for a dog-friendly park.  Alas, every park was posted “No dogs”, a few were posted “No dogs or cats” and one stipulated “No animals of any kind.”  I wonder how they keep those pesky squirrels out?


We stopped at the Cape May Chamber of Commerce Information Office beside the Garden State Parkway and asked where we could find a dog park.  There aren’t any in the area.  Sheeesh!  This area advertises itself as “dog-friendly” but their policies belie that slogan!

We carried on southbound along the shore, pointing out some of the sights to the two dejected dogs curled up on the back seat.  They didn’t much care . . .  their eyes said, “Where’s that dog park you promised?”

We stopped briefly at The Lobster House to confirm that they are still open.  Carol checked the menu and decided that it would suit us quite nicely!

Back at the campground we pulled over in a large grassy area where they store RVs and tossed the ball for Blue until he was huffing and puffing. 


We were back at the campsite by noon and spent a half hour there before Carol and I hopped back in the car and returned to Cape May.  We wanted to take a trolley tour around the old historic district.

We parked across from the Washington Mall, a three block long pedestrian walkway.  The former road is now a cobbled walkway, a beautiful pedestrian streetscape featuring quaint shops and restaurants.  We bought tickets for the 2:15 trolley tour which left us with an hour to explore the mall.  Carol poked into several shops; I even joined her in a few.

We bought a couple of small items and then stopped for lunch at an old fashioned soda fountain at the back of an old fashioned 5¢ and 10¢ Store.  Quaint!

The tour was quite good.  The driver wound us round and round the often narrow streets in to oldest parts of the town while the guide pointed out the best of the historic old Victorian buildings and explained the history of the unique properties.

The town has an unusual concentration of Victorian building because of the massive fire which destroyed 30 square blocks of the city in 1878.  The entire area was rebuilt in the ensuing ten years in the Victorian style of that time.  Our guide joked that, “People of the Victorian era even decorated the decorations.”

This has always been a tourist destination and they advertise themselves as “America’s Original Seaside Resort.”  Our guide pointed out the site of the first tourist hotel, built beside the shore in 1790.  In the winter this is a quiet little town of about 3,500 people but in the summer tourists flocking to the seashore swell that number to 30,000 to 40,000.  Many of those magnificent old Victorian summer homes are now very posh Bed & Breakfasts or exclusive Inns and Spas.


We thoroughly enjoyed the tour.  It gave us a much better appreciation of the rich history in this area.

We were back to the campground by 4:00 and spent a quiet hour with the dogs (Zzzzzz!)


By 5:45 the dogs were fed and walked.  We hopped back in the car for a return trip to Cape May – destination – The Lobster House.  As we drove south under crystal clear blue skies with the setting sun glaring directly in our eyes Carol asked, “Can we make it to Sunset Beach within 10 minutes?”  “I think so.” I replied as I put the pedal to the metal.  

We pulled in with just a few minutes to spare.  It’s quite an interesting experience . . . there is a little snack bar on one side and a gift shop on the other, with a nice, but small sand and pebble beach. 

Just before the sun sets each night they begin a flag retreat ceremony.  They played some recorded music including the National Anthem and Taps as the flag was lowered.  Then a live piper appeared and played a few tunes on the bagpipe as the sun set into the Delaware Bay to our west.  WOW!

Then we were off to the Lobster House.  There were people lined up outside when we arrived at 7:30.  The host said it would be about a 30 minute wait so we were delighted when we were seated after only 15 minutes. 

Dinner was terrific.  We both started with delicious clam chowder.  I had fried scallops and Carol had a small lobster tail, scallops and shrimp served over linguini.  Although we tried hard, neither of us could finish our meals.  The dessert menu looked good as well but we had no room left for sweets!

We were back home with the dogs at about 9:15.  We haven’t decided what tomorrow will bring.  We may return to Atlantic City, Ocean City or Cape May – or we might drive to Delaware.


Stay tuned to find out!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


We voted this morning . . . there was only one ballot . . . Carol cast it . . . we went to Delaware.  After coffee, toast and showers we loaded the dogs in the car and hit the road at 9:00 a.m.


We drove south about three miles on Route 9 and turned onto Route 83 which tool us north-west about three miles to Route 47.  Route 47 has a bit of an identity issue . . . it changes to 347, back to 47 and finally becomes 55, all in the span of about 34 miles.  We exited 47/347/47/55 and merged onto Route 40 which 24 miles later merged with the New Jersey Turnpike just before it crossed the Delaware River.

At 10:30 we were climbing the slope to the crest of the Delaware Memorial Bridge and entering the State of Delaware.  During our morning drive Carol noticed that Route 49 travelled through Tuckahoe, not to far from our campground, and joined The New Jersey Turnpike just before it crossed the Delaware.  She really wanted to say Tuckahoe a few more times so we agreed to follow Route 49 on our way home later in the day.  Tuck-a-hoe, Tuck-a-hoe . . . nice ring to it!

We have crossed the Delaware River many times at other locations in New Jersey, but this was the first time either Carol or I had set foot in the State of Delaware.  To celebrate this momentous occasion we headed directly to the Christiana Mall.  Here’s a bit of a shocker . . . Carol stayed in the car with the dogs while I shopped.  Yup – hard to believe, but it happened!  I bought a belt at JC Penney and returned in about ten minutes.  Then it was her turn!  This mall had a Disney Store and the State of Delaware has no sales tax.  I knew we were in for a long wait so I got the dogs nicely settled in the back seat, gave them a drink of water and broke out my trusty e-reader.  Sure enough, Carol was about an hour.  She came back loaded with bags – some Disney goodies for herself and friends, some Christmas gifts for family and two great looking slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.


While Carol was shopping I put down my book for a few minutes and checked out the map.  There is a ferry which crosses the Delaware Bay from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey.  I wondered what the schedule was.  After Carol showed me all her newly acquired goodies we talked about the ferry and decided to look into it.  We stopped at a rest area which also had a State Information Desk so after we walked the dogs Carol picked up a ferry schedule.  She called right away and booked us passage on the 4:15 ferry.


We carried on south on US Route 1 and pulled off in the State Capital, Dover at about 1:00 p.m.  Carol ran into a Chick-fil-A and picked us each up chicken-on-a-bun.  We parked in a shady corner of the Lowes parking lot next door, enjoyed our sandwiches and then savored the cheesecakes she had picked up at the mall.  I don’t think she ever thought that they would make it home!


There were RV’s all over the place in the Dover area and when we drove past the Dover International Speedway we understood why!  They are setting up of a big NASCAR race there this weekend.  The fields surrounding the speedway are all set up in grids for RV’s and many of the sites are already occupied.  NASCAR is BIG BUSINESS in this area!

We carried on south on US Route 1 to Rehoboth Beach, a delightful little tourist resort, just a few miles from Lewes where we were to board the ferry.  Rehoboth Beach has a nice boardwalk as well, but guess what?  No dogs are allowed!  I stood just off the edge of the boardwalk while Carol checked out the boardwalk and the beach, then it was my turn.  She held he dogs while I poked around a bit.

We left Rehoboth at about 3:15 and made the short drive to Lewes where we joined the throng lining up for the ferry.  There was a nice grassed area where we threw the ball for Blue while we waited for the ferry to arrive.  Carol walked up to the terminal and took a few pictures as it pulled into the port and then scrambled back to join the dogs and I just before boarding began.  The ferry looked as though it would hold about 100 cars but today it was only about two thirds full.

We headed to the bow area on the entry level, took a few pictures and then headed upstairs to the main passenger deck where the lounges and restrooms are located.  Pets are not allowed inside so we spent the 85 minute crossing outside with Zak and Blue.  They were both fine with the experience until about two thirds of the way across.  The ferry made a course change and the ship shuddered and rattled for about a minute until it came about onto the new course.  Blue did not like the shuddering and rattling.  He didn’t like it at all!  He shivered and shook for the rest of the trip.  When it was time to get back in the cars to disembark Carol had an awful time coaxing him down the steps to the car deck.  It was still quite noisy and he didn’t want to go into that small, noisy area.  Finally he came charging down, full speed ahead, dragging Carol along behind!  I don’t think Blue will ever be a fan of ferries!

We were back to the campsite just after 6:00 p.m.  Carol fed the dogs and walked them while I did a few chores that would save us a few minutes in the morning when we get ready to pull out.  I dumped and rinsed out our holding tanks, disconnected, rinsed and stowed the sewer hose and then retracted the awning.  Tomorrow we will disconnect the rest of the utilities, hook the tow-car on the back and begin our trek to our next stop – North Stonington, Connecticut.

We pulled out at about 7:00 p.m. and headed off for dinner.  The winner of the New Jersey Diner contest was the Rio Grande Diner where we ate Sunday night.  It was our favourite – hands down!  After another nice meal there we returned home and joined the dogs at about 8:30 for a quiet evening.


Our journey tomorrow will see us cover 278 miles.  We will follow the Garden State Parkway north for 113 miles to Interstate 95 and then follow I-95 north for 163 miles.  We will be skirting New York City and travelling through the heart of it’s suburban area.  Sure hope the traffic co-operates!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Ooops!  Change in plans . . . North Stonington, Connecticut is out – Kingston, Ontario is in.  We’ve had some more technical difficulties and we’re cutting the trip short and heading home.


When Carol was coming to bed last night she noticed that the clock was not lit up on the radio in the dash of the RV.  That was our first clue last Saturday that the coach batteries had no power.  I got up last night and checked the slides – sure enough, they wouldn’t budge. 


Those batteries should have charged up fully during the 5 days we were in the campground and plugged into a 120 volt 50 amp receptacle.  There are three ways to charge those batteries, the alternator on the V/10 engine, the on-board 5,500 watt generator and by plugging into conventional electric power.  None of these three ways was working.


So this morning we got up at 6:00 a.m. and got to work.  Naturally the batteries I need to boost are on the side of the RV which is now close to some trees and shrubs at the back of the campsite.  There was just enough room to squeeze the car in.  I directed Carol as she drove it in very slowly, she couldn’t see because the hood was propped up.  I hooked up the jumper cables and Carol headed inside the RV to retract the slides and the hydraulic jacks using power from the car battery.


By the time we were finished and I unhooked the cables there was no power left in the coach at all.  The lights wouldn’t work, the water pump wouldn’t work, even the refrigerator wouldn’t work.  The refrigerator cools using propane while we are travelling but it needs 12 volt power to light the propane jet.  We thought things would probably work OK when we pulled into the next campground and plugged in again, but we decided that we wouldn’t take the chance.  We opted to head home and get the RV back to our “home dealership” for the necessary repairs.


We pulled out of the campground at 7:55 a.m. and headed north, retracing the route we took to get here.  Unfortunately, that took us through Philadelphia in the early morning hours.  Traffic was light and we moved along at a steady 60 mph until we approached the Ben Franklin Bridge which crosses the Delaware River between Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  We came to a stop just as we approached the bridge at about 9:15 and then we crept and crawled through the heart of downtown Philly for the next hour.  There were at least three broken down vehicles blocking lanes along our route and traffic was bottle-necked behind each of them as two lanes merged into one to get past.  Finally at 10:15 we broke free of traffic on I-476, the Pennsylvania Thruway on the north side of Philly.  Hooray!


We stopped at a service area near Allentown Pennsylvania to give the dogs a stretch and picked up a coffee at Auntie Anne’s.  We followed I-476 to it’s end at Clark’s Summit, just north of Scranton, where it merges with I-81.  There were some gloriously colored trees when we hit higher altitudes coming through the mountains.  It’s amazing how much it changed in a week!


About 25 miles after merging on to I-81 we pulled off at the FlyingJ Truck Stop at New Milford, just 10 miles south of the New York state line, where I gassed up.  Carol walked the dogs and made us a sandwich while I pumped the fuel.  We were soon back on the road and continued to make good time in light traffic.  We pulled up to the border at about 5:30 and had a 10 minute wait before talking to the Canadian Immigration Officer.  About three simple questions and we were on our way!


We pulled up in front of the house at about 6:15 and began to unload.  By the time we had the car unhooked, the bikes off the bike rack and the refrigerator and pantry emptied out it was almost dark.  We decided to call it a day.  We’ll haul out the clothing and everything else tomorrow.


It was a great trip; we really enjoyed the Jersey Shore.  We didn’t really know what to expect when we headed in that direction and we didn’t know if we would find much to keep us interested.  We shouldn’t have worried about that – it’s a very scenic area with plenty to keep us busy.  I am sure we’ll be back.


Too bad we missed the chance to visit Connecticut and Rhode Island . . . maybe next year?

October 8, 2013 - Update

Several people have signed our online guestbook and asked about our electrical problems.  It turned out to be nothing very serious; there was a fault in the circuit board which controls the battery isolator, which in turn controls how the batteries charge.  Our RV dealer has ordered a new circuit board and will have it installed before our next trip.  We pull out November 22nd and head to Fort Wilderness - Yippee!