A Change of Pace

Our last two weeks have been a little different than usual. Since we were back in Florida we decided to have our Tampa RV dealer, Lazydays, repair a bunch of little issues that have cropped up during our first six months. Rover has a one-year warranty so we’re about halfway through it. Fortunately we’ve had no major issues so far—most of our fixes were for broken add-on components like window roller shades, a backup camera, or a rain gutter. Rover’s ride can be bumpy at times, especially on poorly maintained highways (I-95 near Richmond and Washington DC was pretty awful), which in turn is pretty tough on many of the components.

As expected, some of our issues were repaired right away, but others required ordering parts from Tiffin in Alabama. While we waited for our parts to come in, we headed south to visit Mom for a week and a half. It was great to spend time with Mom again, and of course she spoiled us like crazy—there’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of breakfast being cooked! Living back in a house was quite a change for us… no more bumping into things all the time, plenty of room to stretch out, and of course unlimited high-speed internet! Opie and Max went for a swim in the pool every day to cool down from the hot south-Florida sun… and sometimes one or the other would sneak in for a swim when we weren’t paying attention. I think we all gained a few pounds, but it was worth it! Opie and Max even got a visit to Mom’s veterinarian so they could get caught up on their shots. One downside of the mobile life is not really having any consistency around medical care—human or pet.

Opie cooling off in the pool, as usual!

Opie cooling off in the pool, as usual!

Even Rover got a little extra pampering while we were there. He received his first oil change at a service center a few miles down the road from Mom. At 5,100 miles, 120 engine-hours, and six months, it was just about the perfect time to get it done. Kathie borrowed Mom’s steam cleaner to clean what little carpeting we have in Rover (mainly along the slide-out rooms), we used Mom’s leaf blower to help clean out the dust from under the refrigerator coils, lubricated his slide-out rooms and awning, applied rubber seal treatment to all gaskets, and polished the Diamond Shield (a clear plastic coating in the front and a few other places to protect the paint from chips) with a UV protectant.

Mom and I talked for a while about genealogy, and we looked through a lot of the research Mom has done on our ancestry. I scanned in some old photos to preserve them, including the one below of Mom’s wedding day. Next time we’re back I will need to scan in more documents and photos. Coincidentally I also recently signed up for a DNA ancestry analysis through 23andMe.com. The analysis was free for me since I’m providing my DNA for a scientific study on Crohn’s Disease. I’m not trying to learn anything in particular, but thought it would be interesting to find out about my more distant ancestry. Well, the results are in, and going back 500 years, my DNA is “98% Northern European”. No surprise there! If you want to go back 30,000 years, I’m 2.4% Neanderthal, which is pretty low—only the 15th percentile. Out of the nearly a million people who have sent in their DNA, the system found many “3rd, 4th, or 5th cousins” who share similar DNA to me, which is to be expected.

Wedding day for Mom and Dad

Wedding day for Mom and Dad!

After being pampered (and stuffed) at Mom’s, we headed back to Lazydays to get our replacement parts installed. Unfortunately one part was never ordered, and one repair turned out to require an additional part, so we’re on “stand by” for another week or two while more parts are ordered. In the meantime we’re headed 90 miles north, to the Homosassa FL region, where we can relax in nature, visit some manatees, and get back in the swing of camping.

Michael Fischer

After a high-tech career spanning software development and systems administration to leading hundreds of engineers across cities and continents, I'm now slowing things down a bit. Traveling full-time in an RV with my awesome wife Kathie and our two big dogs Max and Opie, I'm now pursuing smaller personal software projects while seeing North America up close.


  1. Vicki   •  

    Love reading your blog. My husband and I recently purchased a Tiffin Allegro, 36LA and are enjoying reading your posts. We are heading down to FL in December and are taking notes. We had already planned to skirt around I-95 in the DC area and, after hearing how rough a ride it was, we are glad we did. Save travels.

  2. Mike   •     Author

    Vicki, congrats on the 36LA! We still love ours. We took I-81 south through Virginia which was much more enjoyable than I-95. It takes you pretty far west, but it’s very scenic, and well maintained.

  3. John R   •  

    Sounds like a great time for you all at Mom’s place. And that’s a really nice gift for Mom, too, I suspect. Well done, Mike. :-)

  4. Steve & Miriam   •  

    Nice meeting you wish we could of talk longer. You have a nice site hope to see you on the road again. Be safe on the road and enjoy life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *