Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy Time at Desert Hot Springs

We had planned to leave California when our stay by the end of February. But Barbara's surgeon wanted to see her again in early March. So we scrambled to find a accommodations to stay in the area a little longer. We could stay at TT until the 28th. We arranged to bring the coach back to the place we bought it on the 1st of march as they had agreed to repair the ram for our generator slideout that was leaking hydraulic fluid. We were just going to park on the street or a casino lot but we arranged to pay for an additional night at TT. We made a number of calls and managed to get a week at Desert Pools through RPI.

We ended up spending all day at the RV lot getting the Ram repaired. They had to take it out, take it to a hydraulic shop, then pick it up when it was done and re-install it. We were a bit anxious as we had a busy day planned the next day and didn't want to be stuck overnight at the RV dealer's. It worked out that we get into Desert Pools just before dark.

The next day was one of our most hectic. Our new coach had a tv satellite dome. When we tried to use it we found that it was a very early model that would require software upgrades and an older style converter box. It would also require a technician to set it up. We called several mobile satellite facilities in the Palm Springs area and were unable to find anyone to do the set up that we wanted. Dennis found a number for the TracVision district manager in Lake Havasu Arizona with the thought that we could go there if needed as we headed east. The manager said that he comes to the parks in the Palm Springs area and could set up an appointment for us. But he warned that he felt that we would not be happy with it as it is outmoded technology, analog rather than digital, and not very reliable. He offered to sell and install a new one for a discount price and we decided to do that. We had scheduled him to do that on tuesday morning at Desert Pools.

In the meantime we were contacted by a potential buyer of the bus. He seemed very interested but would not be able to actually buy the bus until he sold the pickup that he had for sale. We were planning to leave the area in a week so we didn't have much time if we were going to make the sale. Dennis said that we would consider taking the truck in trade; our thought was that a late model pickup should be a good trade in for a new car which we were planning to buy. The only time that the potential buyer, Robert, could come was on his day off which was Tuesday. So we were scheduled to meet with him at about the same time as the satellite installer was due. Fortunately there are two of us. Barbara was there to meet with the installer while Dennis met with Robert to look over the vehicles. Robert showed up with four young children. He looked over the bus and Dennis looked over the truck. They tentatively agreed on a deal. Dennis' reservation was that Robert did not have a title, only some paperwork that seemed to indicate that he owned the truck. Dennis said that he would only do the deal if the DMV verified that Robert in fact owned the truck. Robert expected that that would be a frustrating experience, but agreed to it. So we went back to the Monaco until the new dome was installed, then Dennis and Barbara, Robert and his four kids drove over to the Palm Springs DMV. When we arrived the 7 of us got in the line outside the door of the DMV. After we got in the door and got close enough to the clerk, we realized that this line was just one to tell the first clerk the general nature of our visit so that she could assign us to another line. When we got to her she gave us a stack of papers to fill out while we waited and told us that some of our questions (like can they verify for us that Robert indeed owns the truck) could be answered after we go through the next line. So we filled out the papers the best that we could and waited for our number to be called. The kids were getting restless and irritable as they had left home at 7 a.m. and it was now mid afternoon. We finally reached the second clerk, who seem overwhelmed by the transaction involving 2 vehicles, one of which lacked a title and the other was titled and registered in another state. She was irritable and unhappy with our paperwork that was not completely filled out. But she finally processed the transactions. Robert suggested that the registration for the truck could be transferred which would save us some money, so we did that rather than get an out of state permit which we later regretted.

We returned to Desert Hot Springs and took possession of our 2005 crew cab F350 pickup truck. And Robert took the bus and left. Dennis called the insurance and was told that since the truck was registered in California it had to have California insurance. We didn't like that as the California insurance was expensive and we could not get a multi-vehicle discount as they wouldn't do that for vehicles registered in different states. When they asked for address we gave our Florida address, they said they can't insure a vehicle without an address in the state it is registered in (even though our California title had our Florida address on it). So we gave the address of the Palm Springs TT and told them that any mail sent there would be returned to them (it doesn't really matter as we do all our business off the internet). At this point we were too tired to be happy about having sold the bus, or sad about it being gone after owning it for 12 years and living in it for 2 1/2.

The rest of the week went a bit easier. We had planned to go with Oland and Meralee to see the desert in bloom. We decided to take the new truck to see how it would run for a longer trip, and to give Barbara a chance to drive it as it is a very large pickup and our plan was for her to drive it to Arizona while Dennis towed our Toyota behind the coach. The truck ran well. We went through Anzo-Borrego State Park. We in fact saw the desert color - the color was green. Contrary to the newspaper article that had predicted that this would be an excellent time for a visit to this area we were to early to see the desert in bloom. We drove on up to the mountain town of Julian which is famous for its pies. We stopped at the Julian Pie Company and had a lunch that was pie centered. The pie was every bit as good as we remembered it from a visit several years ago. On the way back we stopped at a couple of casinos and got complimentary player's cards and managed to come out with a few dollars. We also stopped at the Jojoba Hills Escapees Park at Aguanga which is one of the nicest rv parks we have ever seen.

During the rest of the week we played pickleball a couple of times (Barbara played for the first time since her surgery), and visited with Brian and Judy who are Thousand Trail pickleball friends who happened to be in the Desert Pools park at the same time. We also got ready to head to Arizona which we had been anticipating for some time, but had had to delay because of Barbara's medical care.