There are two big questions in today’s post.
The first has nothing to do with the post and everything to do with my attempt to make plans for this summer. If you can recommend things we should not miss on our way from Virginia through Pennsylvania to Niagara Falls, over to the Finger Lakes and into Vermont, please comment and let me know. The jello plan isn’t made in stone so suggest away even if it requires a reroute. I trust your recommendations.
The other question is about rig washing and is in the post.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Today before we leave Highlands Hammock, I take a picture of each of the back bedroom crank out windows to show how seriously fogged they are. I love crank out windows since you can have them open even when it rains but I haven’t been able to see through the bottom panes for far too long.
They look even worse close up.
Since we don’t have the jacks down or the slides out (see yesterday’s post), we pull out in the morning to make a stop at the dump station and arrive at Darren Thomas Glass by 9:00am.
We are having these back windows replaced with their Never Fog Windows. Rather than take our double pane windows out, clean the moisture, reseal and reinstall them as other places do, Darren Thomas replaces our glass with two panes of glass which have a solid polymer bond polished so you cannot see it. There is no air space or gap. The glass is flat dried and polished. The color is the same as our former windows with the same insulating value.
The deal cincher is the life time warranty. Something goes wrong, they fix it, no question. Darren’s a fairly young man so I don’t think Winnona will outlive him.
Darren Thomas Glass has been a family owned and run business for the past 35 years. Darren was replacing auto windshields by the time he was 16 and says he has the back problems years of such heavy lifting will cause.
They are ready for us when we arrive. Darren’s wife Meri greets us and gives us the gate code, the wifi code and a map with local restaurants and attractions on it.
Meri is leaving to represent the company at an RV Rally in Sarasota so she introduces me to Miss Grace, as Darren calls her, at the front desk who will take care of us while Meri is gone.
We move Winnona to their RV hook up section across from the Bays where they do the work. The RV sites have 30/50 amp power and water. I think there are 7 or 8 sites. There was only one other rig there when we arrived but there are two in the shop. All their bays are large enough for RVs.
Soon enough it is Winnona’s turn to move inside.
They take the old windows out. Luckily they do not have to remove the frames.
Cut the new ones to the exact shape of the old and reinstall them.
By 6:00, everyone is gone and we have the entire place to ourselves with a beautiful sunset. We spend the night in our site waiting for the adhesive to set and cure so they will be fixed in place before we leave. Boy do they look nice. Too dark for pictures but I’ll get some tomorrow.
In the morning, they check things out, open and close the windows and all is ready to roll except that there is a blemish on the finish below one of the windows that came about when they were removing the original window pane. They say it is from the original sealant that held the pane in place and somehow it came in contact with the side of the coach. The staff tries their best to get it out but it doesn’t come out completely. Darren takes over. He is determined to remove it. He’s planned to join his wife at the Rally but he takes his time working on this.
He’s successful. No sign of the spot. Once he’s gotten the spot out, the process he has used has made a beautiful white area under the window. So he goes above and beyond to take the time and trouble to clean around the entire area and blend it in. If only the entire coach looked as good as this.
What we learn here is that Darren Thomas cares a great deal about the quality of his work and about his customers’ satisfaction. We also learn that the products he has used will deal superbly with the fiberglass oxidation we have. Those little gray spots and spider webs that we have not been able to get out drive me crazy. I am elated! We actually can bring Winnona back to pretty much original condition.
This is a HUGE piece of knowledge for us. We’ll pass this information along as well as soon as we put it to the test ourselves. And to top it all off Darren gives David permission to wash a seriously dirty Winnona in their the lot.
We could not be happier in dealing with this excellent family business. Darren Thomas is a businessman in the old fashioned sense of the word. He is honest, cheerful, thorough and reasonably priced. He cares about his customers. There is no better recommendation than that. We expect no problems at all with these windows but should we have any, we know he and his staff will take care of us. These are guaranteed to never ever fog again.
Winnona has not had a bath since we returned to Florida. We were in the Keys on the water for two months which means lots of salt. We have been anxious to clean her up but in our style of full timing, we are seldom in a private RV park where they might let you wash your rig. We spend all our time in state and national parks where washing rigs is not allowed. Bringing in a private contractor to wash it for you, even if they bring their own water, is also not permitted. We have looked and looked for a self wash with a bay big enough for an RV and have come up empty handed except for one in Flagler Beach on the East Coast of Florida. I sure would like to put together a list of self wash stations with RV Bays so if you know of one please comment with its name and location.
Thanks to Darren’s water generosity, today is the day. Darren cleaned the back end of the left side and it looks fantastic so David goes to work on the back. He’s done half of it here. Look at the difference.
All finished and boy does she shine! I know she’s a really happy camper now. Thanks Darren and Meri and your crew. It’s been a great experience working with you. Seriously a big UP! Almost makes us forget that we can’t put our jacks down.
We move on to Koreshan State Historic Site where we settle in with a bottle jack we just happen to carry with us, until we can figure out how to get this Downer repaired.
Here’s the jack at work on the Downer. Thank goodness we will be here for two weeks. Fingers crossed we can get it fixed in that time and retire this bottle jack again.
But this is the UP, our new windows. I haven’t been able to see out of these lower panes for 3 years. Compare these pictures to the first two pictures in this post. LOVE IT!!
Sure hope the jack problem is as easy to take care of as the window problem turned out to be.
Everybody has their ups and downs whether you are a full timer or not.