Friday, April 6, 2012

Chipped Windshield, Texas Tornadoes and Window Shades On The Fritz

The windshield chip.
The size of a dime.
Chipped Windshield
Already mentioned in an earlier post, our brand new coach got its inaugural windshield chip just about the time we crossed the state line from Louisiana to Texas.  The chip about the size of a dime. How frustrating! 
To keep everything in perfect condition on the coach, and the car, we'd have to keep them in a garage and that's not an option so we'll just grin and bear getting all the chips and dings we're sure to get along the way. 

Texas Tornadoes
On the outskirts of Dallas we found a relatively nice campground in the city of Terrell (not pronounced like the Dallas Cowboys Football player, Terrell Owen).  Terrell is the hometown of comedian Jamie Fox and billboards along the interstate proudly boast the connection.  Well anyway, during our week long stay at Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park we enjoyed visits to Canton, Arlington and Dallas.  Everything was going along swimmingly. Then on Tuesday afternoon I was awakened from my early afternoon old folks nap (the one where I literally get into the bed) to the sound of high winds catching the slide cover and throwing the coach out around with a tremendous force.  A quick check of the weather and we found ourselves in the path of one of the many tornadoes twisting their way around Texas.  Within minutes, we had collected Lexie and Ozzie and ran through torrents of rain to the car.  Driving to the rather flimsy campground office we were pummeled by pea sized hail and were trapped in the car.  --- just not where you're supposed to be in a tornado. But we were stuck.  To get to the questionable safety of the office, we'd have to run 50 yards from the car to the office and the hail would surely beat us to death.  It took a few minutes but we remembered the weather radar on the new car's navigation equipment.  We counted the circular tornado icons on the map and watched the bright red pattern of thunderstorms all around us.  All we could do was sit and listen to the hail hitting the car. Lexie and Ozzie were trembling and they weren't alone. 

Needless to say, we survived and were not caught in the tornado itself. I aged three years in thirty minutes that day but lived to tell about it.

Window Shades On The Fritz
On Friday morning we pulled up stakes to leave Bluebonnet Ridge only to find that the automatic shade on the windshield wouldn't work.  The shade was in the "down" position and just wouldn't go up.  Drat! This is where we drag out the 15 pound box of manuals for the various components of the coach to look for a way to fix the problem. It's a good thing we started early as it was near noon when we finally pulled out.  In the end, our broken shade was rolled up by hand and held with straps of Velcro (my favorite material) for a temporary fix.  This repair calls for professional help so we'll go directly to MCD Innovations, makers of the shades.  Fortunately, their factory is in nearby McKinney. They have agreed to "work" us into a full schedule and we'll be able to hookup on site and stay on their campus overnight. 

MCD's headquarters in on 10 acres just northeast of Dallas. This is where they produce hundreds of shades daily for shipment to all the major coach makers. MCD has a big ole Texas ranch house-look building with a countryside setting.  It's delightful. Lots of soft green Bermuda grass and smooth concrete (favorites for walking the babies). White fencing, manicured lawn, flowering trees and a spring-fed pond complete with ducks and geese adorn the grounds. Best of all is the 150-foot covered front porch, complete with big ole wooden rockers. There's a couple of full-time RV'ers on site who serve as hosts and they made us feel right at home. 
The MCD Headquarters Building's front porch

MCD Headquarters in McKinney, Texas
Peggy coordinated everything.
By noon the next day, the shade was inspected and it was determined the roller was not getting "grabbed" by the motor's teeth.  Our technician, Austin, removed the shade and took into the factory for replacement.  Amazingly, I found I had several questions about the care and adjustment of the MCD shades. Austin answered them all to my satisfaction and it looks like we'll be repaired quickly. 
We're on the far end with our car in front.
We've met some nice neighbors here too!

A couple more coaches in for shade service.
All MCD shades are manufactured inside this building
This is Peggy (again) and her husband Jim.
They serve as hosts to visiting customers for MCD.

Dawn and George had a windshield shade problem similar to ours....
except their shade fell while driving.  Horrors!

This is Art and Cathy.  We think our paths surely crossed somewhere last summer and we're looking forward to meeting them again -- maybe in Colorado this summer. 

Ozzie enjoying a treat.
Just thought I'd throw this one in.

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