Monaco Rally

The past week was spent at the Buckhorn Lake Resort RV park just outside of Kerrville, Texas.

Most of the time was spent at the Monaco America rally, but we did have a few days to ourselves.  The rally lasted for four days, but it was really five days if you count the day we pulled in and set up.

First, a word about the RV resort.  This was not your run-of-the-mill RV park where someone leveled out a field and installed some hookups.  No siree.  Buckhorn is a first class place with cement pads, paved roads, pools, hot tubs, lakes, store, meeting rooms, outdoor bar, etc.   It was all very civilized and we enjoyed every minute of it.

The rally itself was somewhat different from the others we attended.  First of all, it was limited to Monaco owners with certain motor home models.  With only 102 coaches, it was a small affair and gave everyone a chance to visit and make friends.  The rally included breakfast and dinner each day along with a open bar for social hour, ice cream socials and after-dinner entertainment.  One day, Jeanne attended an afternoon tea for the ladies.  The few vendors were doing a brisk business.  A local Monaco dealer brought by some new coaches to test drive and hopefully sell.  Monaco sent a representative along with a technical staff that would fix two things for free labor but charge for parts.  Finally, expecting to sell a few coaches, there were sales reps from the local dealer.  So, the rally was very narrowly focused on the Monaco brand and Monaco owners.

Our two things to fix included a bent windshield wiper arm and the squeaking toilet.  The wiper arm was easy enough — the tech (Bubba) just bent it back into position.  But our hopes were dashed when the tech announced that he had never heard a squeaking toilet before and didn’t have a clue how to fix it.  In his opinion, if it was holding water, we should leave it alone.

Between the seminars and meetings, we did find time for our workouts and laying in the sun by the pool.  The road to the RV park was perfect for running since it dead-ended about 2 miles from the park.  Just like the pictures in the running magazines, we found ourselves running down the center of a lonely country road.  But we weren’t smiling.  Yes, there are hills in the Texas Hill Country and some are quite steep.  The pool was a refreshing place to cool down after a run.

In the You-Never-Know-What-You-Will-Run-Into department, we had an encounter with a rattlesnake.  On our return run to the coach, both of us were startled by the presence of a coiled rattler by the side of the road.  On closer inspection (not too close) it proved to be dead, but was in the coiled and ready to strike position.  Seeing this out of the corner of your eye is a heart-stopper and the rest of the run was completed from the middle of the road.  After 20 years of living with Jeanne, I never knew she could change direction in midair. 

We hooked up with Bill and Sharon, the couple we met in Fredericksburg.  In turn, they introduced us to their friends, Pat and Shirley.  All of us are retired Southern Californians and we got along well.  We very much enjoyed their company.  Bill and Sharon are experienced motor home owners and have taken many long trips.  We swapped stories of our travels and shared our experiences.  Who knows, maybe one day we will travel with Bill, Sharon and their adopted dog Frisco.

After the rally ended, we took a few trips to Kerrville for supplies.  With a population of about 20,000 Kerrville is about twice the size of Fredericksburg.  It has a lot to offer, including a nice park along the banks of the Guadalupe River.  It’s one of those regional centers where you can find just about anything you are looking for.

The Sunday before we left Kerrville was a special day.  A good friend from CHFC, Chris and his wife Natasha, recently settled in San Antonio due to a job transfer.  They invited us to the home for dinner.  We spent the afternoon and evening at their house visiting with our hosts and Chris’s parents, who happened to also be visiting.  The food and conversation were excellent and we very much enjoyed the evening.  We hope Chris will stop by the coach while we’re in Johnson City next week.

On the way to San Antonio, we stopped by Camping World for some supplies.  A must-have was a can of silicone spray designed to lubricate the toilet bowl seal.  Much to our amazement, it worked and all is now right again with the Black Tank.

We have been suffering from low water pressure.  When connected to city water, there just wasn’t enough oomph to flush the toilet or take a shower without using the pump.  Through the process of elimination, we suspected a clogged pressure regulator (you need one of these to protect your coach plumbing from excessive water pressure).  Well, money won’t make your happy, but it sure solves problems.  We bought a new high-flow regulator for $9.00 and solved the problem.

Oddly enough, we had problems finding suitable outdoor chairs for the coach.  The recliners proved to be too heavy and bulky.  The folding tube-type chairs get uncomfortable and hot.  Jeanne found the perfect compromise of comfort and convenience at Camping World and we are now the proud owners of two folding type aluminum chairs with breathable woven seats and backs.  What a find!

After the rally ended, the weather turned hot.  In fact, the day we left Kerrville it was 94 degrees under clear skies.  We were sorry to leave such a comfortable place, but it was time to move on.