The next morning brought beautiful warm sunshine under cloudless skies. The morning temperature was a bit cool, but the sunshine more than compensated for the coolness.
Lois and Anthony’s home was a good place to rest after the four-day drive from Canada. Several maintenance issues cropped up after we arrived.
A rear tire on Ralph’s truck began to lose air immediately after parking.
At first, he thought a nail or something similar, but a closer look revealed tread separation and a bulge that probably would have become catastrophic once the tire heated up as we continued our journey south.
Mike and I accompanied Ralph to a tire repair facility where the attendant performed a temporary repair and exchanged it with the spare. The attendant mentioned that the tire pressure was maxed out at 90 lbs, 10 lbs over the limit, no wonder it bulged.
The three of us commented that fortunately, our trucks are the same make, so the tires could be interchanged if Ralph’s sickly tire would not hold up as a spare. Ralph planned on replacing his tires after this trip and buying a new tire at this stage of the trip seemed unnecessary.
My time at Lois and Anthony’s was spent on a project I’d been contemplating for a couple of years. My 12-volt inverter system needed a more permanent installation to speed up the setup and dismantling time.
Also, a permanent installation would provide power to our trailer appliances when stopped for the night rather than connecting the inverter to the batteries and extension cord through the window to the rear of the trailer in order to use the TV.
This was my current mickey mouse approach.
The project I had been thinking of is routing an extension cord through my travel trailer to the rear living area in order to power the TV, satellite receiver, as well as charging our devices.
Heavy insulation on the underside of the trailer complicated the plan. My final solution was to run the cord just inside the outside body skirting through various holes and cavities using zap straps to secure it.
In the end, three holes needed to be drilled through the floor, two in the front storage compartment to accommodate the wires from the front mounted batteries. These wires would connect to the 1000-watt inverter installed in the front storage space.
The second and third holes were for the extension cord to pass from the inverter through the floor of the storage compartment and then at the rear of the trailer for the cord to pass back up into the living area close to the TV.
The entire project surprisingly took only a couple of hours especially since I had been contemplating this project for a couple of years. The delay had been caused by my reluctance to drill holes through our relatively new travel trailer.
Once the wires were run I filled the holes with spray foam insulation.
Mike had a truck issue as well, during a routine jaunt to the local town of Rosamond, Cal. to refill propane bottles, the engine light appeared, indicating a problem with the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Of course, this was not a welcome site for Mike.
We decided to stop by the local repair facility where Ralph had his tire repaired. A brief conversation with the mechanic did not instill confidence in us that he possessed the expertise to perform the repair.
Subsequently Mike called the GM repair facility in the adjacent town of Lancaster and made an appointment for the following morning. He would head there first thing in the morning.
We returned to camp where the group decided to try a dinner recommendation from our host (Lois), the Chinese buffet in Lancaster, half price senior Tuesday.
It was dark by the time we climbed into my truck to drive the 18 miles to Sakura’s Restaurant.
Dinner was great, many different flavours and textures including a Mongolian grill and the price of $6.25 for seniors was unbeatable. After dinner, it was home and bed for our weary group.
Mike rose early and headed to the repair facility in Lancaster. Our plan this day was a trip to Venice Beach, Los Angeles and spend the day fulfilling my childhood dream.
Venice Beach had fascinated me since I was a kid along with muscle beach, beach volleyball and all the other stuff associated with summer beach fun Los Angeles is famous for. It had been on my bucket list since we began our snowbird travels almost ten years ago.
Ralph agreed to drive on this excursion. Our route to Venice Beach, on highway 14, took us past the Lancaster GM dealer, we picked up Mike and continued the hour and a half drive to Venice Beach.
Parking in the beach area was a bit of a problem and took several trips around the area before a suitable parking spot was found. A perfect spot under a shade tree and it was free.
A ten-minute walk and there we were, standing on the sand of Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, California a place I was beginning to think I would never see.
The only issue was the marine fog drifting off the Pacific.
We continued west along the boardwalk through the mist. I was excited at what we may behold once we reached the center of Venice Beach.
Muscle beach was our first area of note. It was not in use and the equipment had seen better days, old and rusting was the unfortunate appearance. A let down for me but I was not discouraged better things were ahead, I was sure.
As we entered what appeared to be the center of the universe, my resolve waned. The mist lifted revealing the boardwalk ahead. It was typical of most tourist’s traps, lined with small booths selling trinkets and t-shirts with Venice and Muscle Beach displayed in many different ways.
A discouraging site, not at all what I envisioned Venice Beach would be. I expected a happy and exciting place with many amazing and wonderful sights to fill my eyes with awe.
Maybe it was an unrealistic childish dream, an impossible place that existed in my mind alone?
We continued our walk to what became the highlight, a modern skateboard park where a small crowd gathered to watch the young adult performers. Their routines were interesting and circus-like drawing ohs and ahs from the crowd.
Another less exciting attraction was the filming of a commercial for the Tommy Hilfiger label in the midway area. The filming would have been more interesting if it had not been cordoned off keeping everyone far enough away as to not enjoy the activities.
Lunch at a sidewalk restaurant called ‘The Terrace’ was a tasty interlude.
In the end, Venice Beach was a disappointment, it seemed it’s days of fame had long past, or my expectations were unrealistic.
On the way, back to our boondocking location (Lois and Anthony), we dropped Mike at the repair facility to claim his truck. The repair bill amounted to over $400. US, a bit of a shocker but not as bad as the original estimate.
We arrived back at Lois and Anthony’s to enjoy a late happy hour, a quick dinner and bed. Tomorrow would be another traveling day. Our first ‘Boondockers Welcome’ experience has come to an end.
This was our first experience after joining ‘Boondockers Welcome’ a couple of months. ‘Boondocker Welcome’ is an RV group that hosts other RVers on their own property for free.
The host supplies a dry camping overnight stay or maybe a couple of nights stay. Some hosts may offer amenities and the length of your RV may be limited.
Our experience was great, free parking for 3 nights plus power and water. We did, however, offer a gift to our hosts for their generosity.
One of the advantages of staying with locals is the knowledge they can share about the sites and attractions of the area, such as half price Chinese Buffet.
The group’s conclusion ‘Boondockers Welcome’ is a great way to save on RV parks and enjoy the advantage of local information.
If you are considering joining click the ad on this site and I will receive a small commission.