It’s A Jungle Out There

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Or maybe we should call this post The Attack of the Crazed Robin.

From the Journal of Zoology:

The Robin shows aggressive behaviour not only towards intruding Robins but, to a varying extent, towards a stuffed adult Robin, foreign species (especially in flight), living and stuffed juvenile Robins, and a stuffed red breast.

To which I would add: the Robin shows aggressive behaviour towards 40-foot motorhomes.

We live in a forest. And we have lots of birds on our property. They occasionally fly into the windows of our house but otherwise they have their space and we have ours. We have always been on friendly terms.

Until last week. Last week I was literally at a loss over what to do about this crazy Robin.

He would perch on a large stone about 5 feet away from the rear end of our coach and literally attack it. Over and over. I was worried about the damage he might do the the paint as he would go full out with wings and claws.

We tried chasing him away only to see him return. We put spikes on top of the large stone hoping that he would not land on it. No effect. He found a way to perch in between the spikes. We even purchased a fake owl hoping that the predator would convince him to go elsewhere. No effect.

This was one very determined Robin.

But why was he so obsessed with our motorhome?

Being a bit slow, it took me a few days to figure it out. I searched Google for “how to deal with robins”. And it became clear. The Robin wasn’t obsessed with our motorhome. He was protecting his territory from another Robin. The Robin that he saw from his stone perch. The Robin that was being reflected by the mirror-like finish of our coach. In other words, he was at war with himself and nothing he did would get rid of the other Robin. At a certain level, Mr. Robin and I had the exact same dilemma: how to get rid of a crazy Robin.

As he was always attacking the same section of the coach, we decided to install an anti-reflective Robin deterrent guard: some strategically placed cardboard and garbage bags.

And, so far, it seems to be working. He is no longer concerned with that part of his territory. I just hope he doesn’t perch on another part of the property. We have a very large coach. It might not look quite as sharp fully clad in cardboard and garbage bags.

Captain’s Log June 12

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Date: Sunday, June 12th, 2016
Weather: Windy, cloudy and cool at 12 degrees Celsius
Mileage at Start of Day: 875 miles
Mileage at End of Day: 890 miles
Total Daily Miles: 15 miles

Today’s objective is to get the RV out of the driveway, dump our grey and black tanks and fill up our fuel tank.

Preparing the coach for departure is relatively straightforward. We have only one shore line to disconnect. With our surge protection system it is as simple as unplugging the coach from the power station. Our power reel makes it easy to stow the electrical line.

We then go through the coach to make sure that all the loose items are properly stowed and secured. We do a visual inspection outside the coach to make sure that nothing is leaking or amiss. We check the tire pressure on each wheel. We check to make sure all compartment doors are firmly closed.

Our technician told us to get the coach to ride height before bringing in the slides. This apparently is a topic for which there are many arguments pro and con. However, Newmar advised us to follow this process: when arriving to a site, slides out and then jacks out and when leaving a site, jacks in and then slides in.

It takes our coach several minutes to bring up the jacks. The engine has to be running for this part of the process. Parking brake engaged. Transmission in neutral. Engine start.

Once the jacks are up it takes a few more minutes to inflate the air bags. Visually confirm that we are at ride height and then turn the engine off. Remove the jack plates. Bring the slides in.

Start the engine and do the circle check.

Everything looks good and we are now ready to get the coach back on the road.

We have a driveway that runs about 1,000 feet through a heavily wooded forest:

Driveway

When we brought the coach home, we were able to navigate the coach up the drive to our house and we wound up parking it about here:

ParkedCoach

The challenge for today: find a way to get the coach back out to the street.

Lorraine and I had spent time clearing out a section of about 25 feet or so that was almost straight back of the coach on the left side of the driveway. That should allow enough swing space to get the coach pointed in the right direction. It took a couple of attempts and finally we gained the upper hand.

We could drive the coach to the street.

Success.

The next task was to drive to the local KOA and dump our tanks. The local KOA is only a few kilometres from where we live. But this is the first campsite that we have visited with the coach and our first time dumping tanks.

The campground map:

KOA

We are new at all of this so it wasn’t really apparent where we should go. We checked in at the office, paid our dump fees and then pondered our next steps when we got back to the coach. There were two coaches already at the dump station and they were facing us so clearly we were going in the wrong direction.

Lorraine jumped out and asked one of the staff how we should approach the dump station.

“Follow Route 66 and go around.”

We drove along Route 66, Sunset Blvd and turned right on the Road to Hell before making a final turn on Goa Way.

We were next in line for the inside dumping station — this site has two dump stations — directly behind a rental RV. It was evident that although we were doing this for the first time, so were they. They handled the process with bare hands. Yuck. And they spilled material all around the dump station. Double yuck. And they did not do a great job cleaning up.

I pulled the coach in and Lorraine cued me when our wet bay was in line with the dump station.

I have to say that doing the research and going through the videos here made a huge difference. Dumping tanks is easy!

We had our disposable gloves, our clear elbow joint, a high quality sewer hose and our Lysol disinfectant.

I opened our wet bay and put on my gloves. I then removed the cover for the sewer hose. I double checked the grey and black valves to make sure that they were closed. I then removed the tank valve cover.

Over to the sewer line storage bay. I removed our sewer hose and removed the covers to both ends. I removed our clear elbow joint.

Back to the wet bay. Elbow joint attached. Sewer hose attached. Extend hose out to the dump station. Make sure everything is connected and secure.

Great. All looks good.

I partly opened the grey valve for a few moments to confirm no leaks. And there were none.

Close the grey tank valve.

Open the black tank valve. Lots of material and lots of velocity. It really did not take long to empty that tank.

Close the black tank valve.

I attached the dump water hose to the sewage rinse inlet and I introduced water into the black tank for about 3 minutes. I then closed the water and released the black tank valve again. Everything came out all clear but, just in case, I repeated the process. Again, all clear. The black tank was clean.

Once that was finished I removed the water hose for the black tank rinse and closed the black tank valve.

Then I opened the grey tank valve.

Awesome. Everything is working just as it should. The grey tank emptied out.

Close the grey tank valve.

Time to clean everything up and put everything away. We sprayed all of the connection points with Lysol and we rinsed our work area.

Very straightforward. The dumping station even provided an area to dispose of our disposable gloves.

Next and final stop was to top up our diesel tank. We made our way to our local truck stop, a bit of a longer drive, and fueled the coach much like we would fuel a car. Except for that really big bill at the end.

We made our return trip home and set up the coach

A very successful day.