Because Nick offered to have us put up a booth in his vendor building here at the Gypsy Journal Rally, we got up early to do just that.
While folks were coming in for the coffee and doughnuts from 7:30 - 9:00, we put up an RVSEF booth and took weighing appointments for Friday and Saturday.
With us arriving late to the rally and not really having the opportunity to do much in the way of promotion or education ourselves, we weren't sure how many weighings we might do. We knew we had three and any more would be a bonus since we had already hit our September goal.
Since Celina was sort of on our way to Louisville, and the nightly camping fee here at the fairgrounds with our Passport America discount was only $10, our expenses to come here were already covered.
Of course, whenever we are in a vendor area, we tend to buy stuff from the others, so I'm not sure we'll come out ahead in the end. :)
At 10:30 I went to a tire safety seminar put on by Roger Marble. Roger is a retired tire industry guy, and he had previously inquired about whether or not RVSEF would be at this rally to weigh RVs. I had emailed him, but wanted to show up in person so that folks could put a face with RVSEF when he made his announcement that we would be doing on-site weighing.
After the seminar, Nick grabbed me to assist him with one of his door prizes. He was giving away a Sea Eagle SE370 like the one we have. So we got it out of the box, and I inflated it so it would make a great presentation up on stage. :)
Once I got back to Linda, she had a total of eight sign-ups for Friday weighing - three fifth wheels and five motorhomes. She scheduled the weighing of the pick-up trucks for this afternoon at 5:00. Nobody signed up for Saturday, but we decided we would stick around Friday night and not head to Louisville until the weekend. Linda didn't want to deal with Cincinnati Friday rush hour traffic as we made our way into Kentucky.
Throughout the day, we were visited by several rally attendees that read our Journal or that used our RV-Dreams.com website to assist them in their transition to full-timing. Cool. :)
As it got later, we packed up our booth and went back to our rig. The weighing site is right out our back window, and we prepared for the pick-up trucks.
After knocking out the trucks, Linda wanted to go to the China Wok Buffet for dinner. She had visions of the best Asian buffet and sushi bar we've ever been to - the Crazy Buffet in Tampa. As I suspected, she was disappointed. After all it was Celina, not Tampa, and the price was half that of the Crazy Buffet. :)
Still, there were some pretty good highlights on the buffet, and we more than got our money's worth. While we were there, a storm blasted through with 40 m.p.h. winds and more heavy rain. That didn't bode well for all those at the fairgrounds already worried about being stuck in the mud when they depart in the morning.
Back home, we watched T.V. and moaned about our lack of buffet discipline. With more wind and rain expected, and a necessity for a substantial digestive process, it might be a long night. :)
This morning, it was windy and cold with highs only expected in the low 50s. We bundled up and donned our rain gear as it was starting to "spit" while we put out the scales and weighing signs.
We started weighing at 8:00 and our first four appointments all arrived early. That was a good thing as we had concerns about whether people were going to be able to escape their muddy campsites. Two of the four, Rick & Kathy and Gerry & Sandy, had attended our RV-Dreams Fall Rally and decided to wait to get weighed here.
Oh, and while they were getting weighed, they informed us that Rick & Kathy had won the Sea Eagle SE370 boat at last night's door prize drawings. Check out Nick's blog entry "And The Winner Is ..." for commentary and photos. :)
They were pretty excited.
With the early arrivals, we had big gaps before the next appointments. Fortunately, our fireplace was on and we could just sit in the warmth of our rig and watch out our windows for the next arrivals. Actually, one by one, our appointments called and asked if they could come earlier, so we were outside ready and waiting for them.
It was the usual mixture of results on the weighing. Some rigs were well balanced and not overloaded anywhere. Some rigs had issues on one axle or a single tire. And one rig was overloaded on every axle and every tire.
While we were waiting for one appointment, somebody in a pick-up towing a large fifth wheel stopped and asked about our fee. After I told him, he said "I've been weighed before and I know I'm okay" as he drove off. We hear that all the time, but what makes this more interesting is that I later saw him reading the federal label on our fifth wheel. When I asked him what he was looking for, he said he was looking at what tires we have.
When I explained that we had upgraded tires and wheels and that didn't show on the label, he said "Well, I was just wondering because I have the same tires you used to have and I've blown out two of them." I just walked away as his prior statment "I've been weighed before and I know I'm okay" kept ringing in my ears. It's very likely his tire failures were not weight-related but ..... maybe they were.
I've learned over the years that there are some people that receive advice well and others that do not, and it is pretty easy to identify which is which. I tend to not interfere with the "know-it-alls", the most irritating few in the population of wonderful RVers. Don't get me wrong, they tend to know a lot, but they are indignant when you disagree ... no matter the strength of the basis of your opinion. We've all been there - it's just easier to keep our mouths shut than engage in a futile attempt to present another viewpoint. :)
While waiting for our last RV to show up, Nick drove over. He was sort of overseeing the muddy departure day and was watching as some RVs had to be towed out of their spots. I'll just let him tell the story in his "NOW I've Seen It All" post. :)
When our last RV arrived to be weighed, it was a 1993 motorhome and our only one of the day with a tag axle. As we weighed the tag axle, we quickly knew there was a problem. The whole tag axle only weighed about 800 pounds - it wasn't carrying the load it was designed to take off the rear drive axle. And the drive axle was 4,000 pounds overweight. Yikes!
This was beyond our expertise, so we called Walter and let him talk directly to our RV owner. Of course, the axles had to be adjusted and Walter provided advice on that, but the immediate concern was the tires on the rear axle.
The gentleman had been talking to someone about his poor ride, and that person told him to lower his 110 psi tires down to 75 psi which he did. Had he left here with his rear tires at 75 psi, they would have been severely overloaded with a potential catastrophic failure between here and his home in Dayton.
Fortunately, his tires did have the capacity, at maximum inflation pressure, to carry the load even though the axle itself would still be overloaded. If he aired them up and took it easy, he could get home relatively safely and deal with the axle issue there.
This was good experience for us. Plus it answered his wife's objections at the time he made the weighing appointment: "Why should we get weighed? Even if we are overloaded we aren't going to get rid of anything." Well, now she knows at least one reason why weighing the RV is important. :)
We didn't have any "walk-ups" today and with the nasty weather, we weren't going to stay "open" any longer. We packed everything up and called it a day somewhere around 12:30.
The rest of the day, we just stayed cozied up in our rig. I completed September Financials while we watched hours of NatGeoWild as they ran show after show about wildlife of Africa.
Though we've been very busy the last month and haven't done as much paddling or hiking as we like, we have been doing a lot of reading. I finished a wonderful history of South Africa, and now I'm finishing up a collection of stories written by a safari guide. Linda is working an a South African novel and we both have downloaded books about the region to be read on the long plane ride over next week.
We are really getting excited now that our RV weighing obligations are complete. Of course, we have pushed harder these last couple of weeks just to help with expenses of the trip. It will help that we will have virtually no expenses here in October since we will be gone from Oct 5 to Nov 4, so in the overall scheme of things, this one month celebration of our 25th anniversary year will be an amazing bargain. :)
Tomorrow, we will drive to our spot at the horse farm just outside of Louisville where we stay when we are in town. Then it will be a few hurried days to prepare for our departure.
In the next couple of days, we'll let you know what to expect from the Journal while we are gone. :)