Trips, Troubleshooting


This post is a follow-up to our previous post, “Trip #10–E-trek or Treat!”

Our Halloween trip was a huge success! We actually left on time (almost), without the usual delays of rain or some unexpected malfunction. We listened to an episode of “The Profit,” which we had downloaded to our iPad using DirecTV’s GenieGo app (for details, see our modification page, “Using an iPad for navigation and more…”). Then we started the latest John Grisham book, “Rogue Lawyer,” using the Audible app we had learned about on Mike Wendland’s Roadtreking Podcast (more on that later…)

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As usual, we camped out the first night at our favorite Walmart, where the skies were clear, the full moon was beautiful, and the first frost of the season occurred that night. We were very cozy with the Webasto heater on and even had to crack the window when it got too warm. Our morning coffee routine is simpler with the MyJo Presto manual coffee maker. It even makes the same humming and hissing noise as the electric Keurig when the coffee brews! Within minutes, we can enjoy our coffee while the dogs eat their breakfast. We dropped off the dogs at the Cozy Canine near Gettysburg, and then continued about an hour drive to Antietam National Battlefield.

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Antietam is much less commercial than Gettysburg, but there were still a fair amount of cars at the Visitors Center. Fortunately they had some very nice RV parking spots which were all available, so we were able to park easily for the day. After a second cup of coffee, and a half hour in the Visitors Center, we were off for our bicycle ride. I was worried that we would not be able to do our traditional climb to the top of the Observation Tower, because I read on the website that it was closed for repairs, but alas, it had just reopened! No trip would be complete without climbing to the top of the tower, and this one is a piece of cake compared to climbing the Bunker Hill Monument’s 294 steps a few weeks ago!

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Karl decided to go on an extended battlefield tour/bicycle ride in the afternoon, so I just relaxed for a few hours in the E-trek. I finally finished listening to “The Martian,” which we had started listening to on Audible during our earlier trips in October. Karl, however,  had finished reading it weeks ago, since he had also purchased the eBook on Audible is affiliated with Amazon, so if you own both eBook and audio versions, you can interchange between digital and audio versions, and Amazon will keep track of your position in both mediums. Karl is an avid reader, and typically reads a book per week. I, on the other, declare victory if I get through one book per year! But Audible has opened up a new world for me, because I can listen to the books on my iPhone while I do other things. So I had gradually been listening to “The Martian,” but still had a few hours to go. Relaxing in the E-trek, without any nagging household chores or the dogs to distract me was really a treat! I also had the E-trek to myself to shower and get changed for our 6:00 PM dinner reservation.

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Our dinner at the Bavarian Inn was delicious–it has been one of our favorite places throughout the years, and we try to visit every year, often on our September anniversary. After dinner, we went downstairs to the Ratzkeller, a cozy bar with live entertainment. We decided to skip the ghost tour, since Karl had already participated in a tour on the battlefield. Also, the winery we had looked into parking at for the night could not guarantee us a spot, since they had a Halloween event. (That is exactly why we wanted to go, and we had even packed some costumes from Halloween’s past.) Fortunately, I had spoken to the manager at the hotel and she agreed to let us park in the upper parking lot for the night. We could just back in far enough for the bike rack to clear the grass, but their parking lot would not accommodate a large RV.

After our second round of showers, we noticed about an inch of water in the shower, which meant our grey water tank was full. A few weeks ago, we received a great tip from Greg McHugh, one of the members of the Roadtrek Owners Facebook Group:

I read your prior blog post and saw that you have the same experience we do in that we fill up the grey tank long before we would get the black tank full. I use a simple method to move grey water over to the black tank that might be useful to you. Open the grey tank valve and then open the black tank valve for a minute, then close both. This will move grey water over until the tanks equalize. Your method can transfer more but I typically just do the quick transfer to get the sinks to drain if they are backing up and make a little room in the grey tank until we get to dump.

This tip is a great suggestion. Sure enough, opening both valves moved the grey tank overflow into the blank tank, so we could make it to the dump station. We ended up stopping at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA, also a tip from a member of the Roadtrek Owners Facebook Group, Daniel Senie:

BTW, if folks aren’t aware of Cabela’s, they have overnight RV parking at their stores and a dump station. The dump is $5, or free if you buy something or if you are a Cabela’s Club member (join for free on their web site). They have lots of good camping-oriented supplies.

We had never been to a Cabela’s before and it looked like a fun place, but we were anxious to get home, so we just emptied the tanks, walked the dogs, and used the very clean bathrooms inside the store. It is about 80 miles from our home, so we are planning to take a ride out to investigate in a few weeks.

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