Trips, Troubleshooting


We were anxious to make a trip to Gettysburg, one of favorite destinations. I investigated possible stopover points along the 180 mile route. We were hoping to get at least 2/3 of the way there Friday night so we would have all day Saturday in Gettysburg. There were a number of truck stops along Routes 78 and 81, as well as several Walmarts that permitted RVs to stay overnight (Gettysburg’s Walmart does not).

So the plan was to load up Friday, eat dinner, shower, and head out about 7:00 PM and arrive in time to try out our TV and Surround Sound System. I had all of the food, clothes, linens, and dog supplies loaded. All that needed to be done was mount the bicycles on the rack and fill the fresh water tank. Seemed simple, but when Karl started filling up the fresh water tank, the Webasto hot water tank started emptying out. Apparently it was in some automatic drain mode brought on by the temperature drop into the 30s overnight. We called our dealer and the service consultant advised us that it would continue to drain for 90 minutes. It was still early, so we weren’t really concerned and Karl refilled the tank a few hours later. We ended up leaving about 8:00 PM.

The truck stops near Harrisburg were crowded, and there didn’t seem to be any grassy area to walk the dogs, so we continued to Route 15 and stayed at the Walmart in Camp Hill, PA. There was another RV in the lot, so we felt safe. It was very cold, so we had to leave the Webasto heater on all night. I was particularly cold and was worried the dogs would freeze to death. So I turned up the heat, and then it got so hot I was afraid the dogs would roast to death. However, we made it through the night and were anxious to have coffee the next morning. However, the Keurig coffee make would not heat up. Furthermore, the Webasto hot water tank was still draining, so we were leaking water everywhere we went!

So by now you’re thinking what else could possibly go wrong? Well, I’ll tell you… After we drove the remaining 40 miles to Gettysburg, we stopped at McDonald’s to get some coffee and breakfast. We also tested leaving the dogs in their crates while we went in to get the food (take-out). We enjoyed our Egg McMuffins; however, when we left, we had not secured the big door and in the chaos of restraining the dogs, I spilled my coffee all over our new RV. Things were definitely going from bad to worse.

When we got to the Visitor’s Center, I cleaned up my mess while Karl got back on the phone with the service department at our dealer to get help with our water draining problem. The solution this time was to turn the Webasto mode to drain, hold it until it blinks (the manual does not mention the blinking) to stop the automatic drain. We would later learn that this incident was more than likely due to the low battery, which is also a catalyst for the automatic drain function. Why the Webasto has this feature is a mystery to us, because the last thing you want when you lose power is to lose all of your water too!

We managed to salvage the day and go on a nice bike ride together. Then I walked the dogs while Karl went on his extended ride. We walked up to the Visitor’s Center and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Then I relaxed in the RV with the dogs for a while—watching some shows I had downloaded onto my MacBook from our DirecTV GenieGo at home.

When Karl got back, it was nearly 5:00 PM so we decided to head home, especially since our water situation was so dire. We stopped about ½ way home, fed the dogs, and heated up the Ziti I brought in our microwave. Fortunately all worked and we enjoyed our dinner. We got home about 9:00 PM, and after we were all bathed and brushed (including the dogs), it was time for bed.

Leave a Reply