Yep, We have the Rv back and it is not good news. Got a text yesterday from my contact at the shop, he said we are all set and we can pick it up about 3 or so. He also mentioned he would not be there and to talk to a guy named John, who had the paperwork. OH boy, excitement abounded, 17 days with out a real home.

When we got to the shop, the Rv was in the back lot, so we drove to it. When i got out,I knew right away there was going to be issues. Along the roof edge, i could see a lot of ripples, where it should be smooth. So, I climbed up the ladder to see the new roof, and my heart just sank to my stomach, all i could see was hundreds and hundreds of bubbles on the roof, some small and some very large. The roof did not stick to the new plywood. WHY, they bothched the job, that’s why. I got down and went right into the shop, some young guy tried to help me out but when i said the new roof looked like shit, he told me i needed to talk to that guy over there. So after waiting awhile he came out and i told him he needed to look at the roof, which we did. When he got up there, he said, how long has this been like this. I was a little confused, he didn’t even know HIS shop just put the roof on. We talked for a little while and he said for sure they would make it right. WHAT, for sure you will, i thought. He was a little lost for words for a while, (after all he is only the service manager!!!!)

Not only that but i pointed out a few other things that were not done, or were done and they looked terrible. When we got back into the office he looked at the paperwork and said, OH, right this is the one we just put the roof on Wednesday. WEDNESDAY, i thought you have had the rig for two weeks and the roof just got put on. Right away i could tell they totally dropped the ball on our work and rushed to get it all done. I said to him, what next, he said they will have to put a new roof on and if we could leave it. WHAT, i said we have been living in a shoe box for over two weeks and you want us to leave it. I told him we live in here full time and we have to take it, plus you are never going to get a new roof on in a few days. So we agreed that on Monday, we would all have a pow-wow to figure our next move. As i had already taken a few pictures he wanted me to E-mail them to him, to show the rep.

So, off i went to the rig, where Melissa was waiting, when i told here what was happening, I thought she was going to break down and cry, poor thing, we are both just exhausted from the last couple of weeks, and now this. I told her we were taking it, and that i had not signed over the two party check from the insurance company. As we started to hitch up, more issues, battery dead, so we had to hook up to shore power, to get the levelers working, after hitching up, i noticed the check wiring light was on. There was nothing i could do to fix it, i think because the battery was dead. We had no electric brakes on the Rv at all driving home. I have never been more nervous than i was doing that. Finally after a knuckle driving experience we got back to home base, got backed in and unhitched, plugged in and opened up the RV. I then proceeded to have a few drinks,(stiff one’s) and look over the rig top to bottom.

Over all i am very disappointed in there work and workmanship,(this is an understatement). It was rush job all the way, they had it in there bay for over two weeks and waited till the last minute to do the work. No one seemed to know what was happening, (Very evident talking to the service manager) The three slide toppers and part of the new lower metal trim, are all i can find as good work. Below is a list of stuff with all the pics

This is the NEW roof, it’s like that all over. My thought’s are they never rolled the roof with a heavy roller after glueing it down. Also the ne plywood below is also lifting, so that was not put down properly either. What a mess.

This is a dime size gouge in the kitchen floor by the stairs that we found. Above is one of the vent’s, i believe this is from the bottom foot of a step ladder. New floor or a fix job, who know’s yet.

Two nice chips in the paint and a scrape on the white moulding on the side of the front cap. Again, i think this was done by the top of a step ladder edge.

This is the back panel where the power reel is . Hard to see but there are three hail damage dent’s here, they never even did anything but chaulk the power reel cover?? The rest of the 35 feet metal they did looks good. I have no idea about this one.

This is the big bay door on the side they replaced the metal skirting, the frame and all had to come out, and after the skirting was put on the door reinstalled, it doesn’t shut, you have to lift it up over a half inch to shut it. WOW. Also to the right is the furnace cover that also had to come out and be put back in, the right side of it is right over the moulding and protruding out. That was not even put in right.

This one shows the lack of work man ship. This is the back top of the Rv. The right side corner piece is nice and at a 90 degree angle. The other side however is way off, but was put on anyway by a blind guy.

Bathroom fan ,vent, where is the screen.

This is the shower skylite, while they put a new skylite piece that goes over the roof, they never bothered to get all the little pieces that are laying around from the hail damage, inside the inner piece. Hard to see, but there there.

If that isn’t enough i don’t know what is, what a whirl wind of emotions the last few days. I know for me i have lost all faith in people taking any kind of pride in there work. While i was in the office, i could see the worker’s coming in and out of the shop, all young punks. Where do we go from here, not sure yet, about anything, Monday will have a better idea. I think there is a few more stiff drinks, in my near future.


Well sort of, , it has now been two weeks, since the 5er has gone in the shop. It might be done by mid week????, the work has been delayed one way or another with, OH, this person was off last week, we need this part to put that in, and so on. Excuses, excuses, let’s get it done, we have seen it in the shop bay now for over a week. Getting a little frustrated to say the least ,and me living in a sardine can is not helping. It’s not really a sardine can but sure does feel like it, i am feeling very cramped all of a sudden in here. It has rained here a few of the days being in here and a lot of stuff is damp, and when it rains it gets humid in here, thank goodness i have an air conditioner, but being surrounded by four walls, a door and no windows it feels tight. I have been getting out here and there, plus Melissa has been over, but i don’t want her to stay long in here either. She has stayed at a friends house for a week and now at here sister’s house a week, which is getting old. She has been working during the week, so she has the truck to go back and forth. Today(Monday) however we went to my sister’s to see my nephew, who is a state trooper in South Carolina. It was a fun visit and we went in the pool( finally got a shower)when we got back here, it was hard to see her go, we both have said how much we miss each other. Hopefully only a few more day’s of this non sense. Maybe by the end of the week it will be normal again.!!!!


As of this post, Melissa and I , plus Cooper are now homeless. We have no place to call home. The Rv is now in the shop for at least two weeks. It rained all the drive to the Rv shop, then cleared up for the unhitch and drop off. Hopefully all should go well.

When we got back here, Melissa got all her stuff and then said her good byes, it was very hard seeing here drive away. She is staying with a very good friend this week, and will also go to work tomorrow ,Thursday and Friday. It makes no sense for her to come here after work as it would be about 40 miles or so to go back and forth. I think I will next see her Monday!!!, .

Cooper and I are here at my brother’s staying in the shed ( man cave) We have it all decked out. TV, radio, computer, coffee maker, micro wave, all the cooking stuff, a bed, recliner, air conditioner, a few fans and a heater if i need it. I have all the food and cold stuff in my brother’s refrigerator, which is only about 100 yards away. We are suppose to get rain for the next few days so will see how it will be all cooped up. Cooper is having a hard time already, he seems very confused, but he is here with his daddy so that should help.

Outside of the shed, with the screened in tent set up.
Bed all set up, the most important thing is to the left, my booze.
Rest of the set up,


We have now been here for almost three months, it seems like time is standing still. Of course time does not stand still and father time marches on. We have three more months to go here ,OUGH VAY. Even though Melissa is working, we both feel that we seem lost here. More I guess of not belonging here anymore. Ties we had before seem to be long gone now. No, scense of adventure here. Yes ,we have friends and family, but even with that, we seem to get in the middle of all the drama going on in there lives, without even trying. No need to say anymore, cause I’ll get in trouble. We both were thinking the other day, it would be nice to just pack up and leave, when the Rv get’s back, but, we would have to make a ton of changes in plans, so for now here we are. Don’t get me wrong we have a good time and all that but the day’s seem to go by just the way they did, before we started Rving, and that’s not what we want.

Anyway, on a good new’s front, we do have the truck back, and the Rv goes in This coming Tuesday, for repairs. While that’s in Melissa will be staying at a friend’s house, and her sister’s house, till it comes back. As for me I am in the shed or man cave, that is here at my brother’s. I will have all the comfort’s of home, more on that later.

This weekend is the fourth of July, so Doug and Jennifer (brother and sister in -law)are coming here with there new travel trailer for the week end. We have two Rv hook up’s here, and they will be trying out all there system’s to make sure all works. That should be fun, some rain forecast but, what ever. That’s about it for now.

Retrofit / Refit Update

going slow . . . . But at least it’s going!

Our Truck (Old Pete) looks like it just came off the assembly line.

A couple of Before and an After picture !

New Pete

We are definitely happy with the final results, New Pete is lookin sleek! We want to Thank all are wonderful friends and family who picked us up and took us places. Took me to do laundry and even to work! And as you all know Newfane isn’t really close to anything!

When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.” — Barbara Bush

The Fiver is scheduled to be repaired on July 7th. Second phase of the Refit.


We now have the truck and 5er damage estimates. Actually have had them about a week now, but been lazy in my posting. We have a $500.00 deduckable on the truck and 5er, so it will be $1,000.00 out of our pocket, everything else will be covered by insurance, including things that may come up while repairs are going on.


The truck is already in the shop, went in Monday. They say it will be about 30 days in the shop, yep that long. As we only have one vehicle, that is a bummer. For now we are relying on friends and family to take us or lend us a car here and there when we need it. Unknowingly we did not have rental insurance on our auto policy (We do now) and the fact that I’m to cheap to rent a car for that long, means that’s what we are doing. We may rent one for a week around June 10th or so as we have places to go. Melissa also needs rides to work during the few days she wants to go ,so this is a hassle. Anyway as to the truck damage.

Total cost for all the repairs is $9,257.00 and change. The auto shop was higher, but the insurance came back with that amount and the auto shop has agreed to it. What will be done, New front hood, New top lid of the truck, how there going to do that, i have no idea. This means the windshield, back glass, interior ceiling liner all come out. Left front fender, both doors and rear panel all coming off, so they have to take the insides of the fenders out, and the interior parts of both doors. They will then pull out, punch out all the dents from both sides, if the front fender cannot be done correctly , it will be replaced. New driver’s mirror and assembly, new tail light covers. Passenger side, has a small amount of dents, these will be pulled out or bonded over. New tanour cover installed. Most of the truck will then be repainted. So, when it comes back it should look almost new, We will see.


Right after we had the hail storm, i took a lot of pictures of the damage. Then i called the insurance company and talked to Alyssa. She said when you are back in town, take it to whoever you would like to do the work. So i sent her all the pics, and when we got back into town we took the Rv to Colton Rv here in North Tonawanda. Shawn at Colton looked at it for us and spent about a half hour or so looking at it. He said he would write up an estimate and send that along with all the pictures HE took, to the insurance company. A week went by and nothing so i called him and he said he just heard that the insurance company wanted more pics and maybe send out an adjuster. WHAT after all the pics sent, they want more. I took more pics and sent them to Alyssa, then i heard that Yep, they want to send out an adjuster. That was set up and an adjuster did come out. It was rainy and cloudy that day(understand all my pics were in the bright sunshine where you could see stuff), the adjuster could not understand why he needed to come out, although after hinting i kind of figured it out. They did not believe that all the damage was caused by hail. He took his pictures and visually verified all the damage(they wanted him to see it). Another ten days or so went by and then i heard from Shawn from Colton, the insurance company contacted him and he was pretty much set to go????. I was a little baffled, why wasn’t I contacted also, and sent the info. So i contacted Alyssa, she had no idea what was going on, OH BOY, but told me when the appraisal comes in, she will send it. Another week has gone by and nothing. So today Friday the 21st of May, i got ahold of Alyssa, she then sent me the appraisal(which had just arrived). Not even close to what Colton’s estimate is. So i contacted Aylssa again, she said you need to talk to the estimator about all that. WHAT, another person is involved, holy crap O la. Forget that so i contacted Shawn, he said right now it is not a final appraisal, as the cost of some things like the slide toppers and a few others are not in, and will be forwarded, not to be worried and all i will have to pay for in the end is our deductable. OK now i have an answer, but i still am concerned about all this running around. Right now the 5er is set to go in on June 14th. More to come on this for sure.

Total cost of repairs from the estimate from Colton, $17,157.00. As i mentioned the insurance appraisal is lower, but we will see. What will be done. For one is a new rubber roof. Both air units, vents, skylite taken off, old rubber roof off, removal of all the roof plywood. New plywood put on, along with the new rubber roof. Then all the units put back on. Along with that on each side new gutter moulding and trim. On the left side of the Rv is a lower metal skirt, it is pot mark with dents, that will be removed and a new one put on. That entails, the removal of the side doors, heater cover, electrical covers, and all that, then they will be replaced. Also a new moulding and cover put on along the length. Two new air conditioner covers, new skylite, and covers for both fans. All three slide covers will be replaced. There are a few other things i want them to check also. I guess that’s enough.

To say the least it has been a little of a trying time, and as they say you have to roll with it, but right now i want to fight it, and make issues with everything and everyone (Sorry dear) not sure why yet. To be continued!!!!!!


During world war II, when warships would be damaged in combat, they would return to there home port for a retrofit or Refit. This is what we are doing. Returning to our home base for a damage refit. We will be here for a few months anyway. The last few days here have been a little nerving. We both have been a little on edge and eating way too much. We need to just settle in and make the most of it. Seeing familial things around here has been good and bad. Comforting to see them but knowing we should be in Arizona right now. In any event we have been busy, we have caught up a little with family and a few friends. Melissa has seen both of her old employers, and WILL be going back to work for both of them on and off here for a while. She wants to keep busy. For me I have enough to do soon. Both the truck and the 5er have been into the shops( more damage to both than we thought) and we are now just waiting for the estimates. Once they are in and we get things set up, I think we both will feel more at ease, and settle in for the time we will be here. The weather has been a big difference from what we are used to, so, that’s a bummer for now. Other than that just waiting to see the cost of things. For now operation refit has commenced.


We are now back at our home base in Newfane NY, not by choice however. We arrived Friday late afternoon after driving about eight hours from Gettysburg. That completes our almost two week journey (un expected) to get back here. Checking things out more closely reveals, we have more damage to the Rv and truck than i thought, so it will be very interesting to see how the damage estimates go. I have an appointment Tuesday for the Rv to get looked at, and maybe the end of the week for the truck. For now we are just ajjusting to being back here. For now that’s it and that’s enough.


In one fell swoop last night of a half hour. Life has changed. 2:30 am, Saturday night it hit, we got a huge hail storm come in. At first it didn’t seem bad, then it started to get a little scary, sounded like artillery shells hitting the Rv roof, then one crashed through the bathroom vent, landing on the floor. It only lasted not even five minutes, but seemed like a lifetime. The hail stones were baseball size, not little marbles like usual, these were big suckers. When it was over and the rain stopped, i went outside like any other idiot would, and of course went on the RV roof. It was not good, both air conditioner covers had holes in them, the bathroom vent and sky light has holes in them. The worst however was while i was walking on the roof, in places it felt soft, not good. Looking further there were impact craters in the rubber roof. The hail had punched into the plywood decking, but did not put holes in the rubber roof, not any i found yet however. I got a number of towels from Melissa and began stuffing all the holes. More rain coming, two more storm fronts came through with a lot, lot of wind and rain. By eight in the morning it was mostly over.

I once again got on the Rv roof. I counted at least 100 impacts of hail on the roof, most over an inch deep, as i looked out over at the truck, my heart sank, the back tonauer cover was full of holes and the hoods of the truck looked like a cratered moon scene. The truck is a mess at least 38 impacts on the hood, not dings but dents. Even the driver side got hit hard, dents all over. By this time people were out, not many of the 400 plus Rv here excaped damage, some cars had to be towed away .

I have taped and patched up all the holes, i can and hope there is no punctures through the roof. Both insurance companies have been called ,and now we will see.


We have decided to go back to our home base at my brothers in Lockport, NY. There is just to much damage to deal with being on the go, and we both decided we would most not really enjoy ourselves, while dealing with all this. We leave here Tuesday and will most likely be back home by the 21st, 22nd of May. No fanfare , visiting, sightseeing or anything like that for now.

As you may think, Yes, we both are pretty distraught, but we are SAFE, no one got hurt that i know of. We are trying to take it in stride, and most the most out of it, thinking we will be able to visit family, friends during the summer, get all back in order, and head back out in Fall.

For now Dave, out.

Already has melted some
My finger is pretty deep into the roof


There wasn’t a lot going on in Gulf Shores until the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1937, and the opening of the Gulf State Park in 1939, were both crucial factors in attracting people to the Gulf Shores area.

One of the first modern condos was built shortly after Hurricane Frederic in 1979. This made way for today’s landscape of beachfront high rises, beachfront communities, and tourist destinations.

It’s Gulf Shores State park that brings us back to AL.  The state park’s 6,500 acres mostly encompass the land behind the Gulf Shores beach community.  The Park features 28 miles of paved trails or boardwalks, two miles of beaches, a huge campground,  Lodge and conference center, nature center, restaurant, cabins, heated swimming pool, kayak, canoeing tennis & pickle ball courts, etc. I sound like I’m doing a commercial for the park, but we do like it here.

May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.”


Our good friends Sandy & Bill, aka Our Pickleball Partners, were going to join us for our stay at Gulf Shores State Park, but as we all know covid changes everthing.

Me & my partner Bill
Dave & his partner Sandy

Dave & I played but we kept looking for our partners for help.  They were helping us mentally, but boy did we need them here physically as well!   Hopefully we’ll meet up on the road sometime soon!

The heated pool at the campground. We didn’t go in the water was only 72 degrees, We’re sissies we’re use to the warm ocean water of Key Biscayne.


One of our walks we was the Pavilion, Butterfly Garden and Boulder Park on Catman Trail in the park.

On another path we found Ron’s FIX it STATION, What a great idea! Instead of a bench, which is nice,

Ron donated an air pump and tools to get your bike back in business. 😊

We found a slide on the side of a trail

A bench at Gulf Shores for Campground Volunteers for 2020 & 2021. I think that all campgrounds should have a bench like this !