Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Said RV Life Was Boring! We Didn't!

We had a nice day yesterday exploring downtown Montgomery and the Rosa Parks Museum. We got ready for bed last night, crawled under the covers, tired and happy after exploring all day, were just about ready to fall asleep, when every RVer's worst nightmare happened---the dreaded alarm was heard...."BEEP!  BEEP!   BEEP!" And seen----the red propane warning light was flashing! "OMG! ELDY!!  IT'S THE PROPANE LIGHT FLASHING! I SMELL GAS! WE'VE GOT A LEAK!"

The next series of events is neither politically correct as far as what we SHOULD have done nor is it probably remembered in the correct sequence.....We jumped out of bed like a shot, I headed to the kitchen/living room and opened up all the windows. Eldy went immediately outside, (I know, I know, I should have gone with him!) and turned off the propane.. I had remembered smelling a whiff of propane at the kitchen stove earlier this afternoon, but it went away and I didn't think anything more of it. NOW the smell was VERY strong! The beeping continued for about 30 seconds, then all of a sudden, it stopped. We looked at each other. We looked at the stove. We looked like idiots.  I said, "We've got to call somebody!" Who ya gonna call at 9:30 at night to come to a rural Alabama campground in the boonies?  Oh, duh--now that I think about it, the fire department. The volunteer fire department was just down the road outside the campground! We weren't thinking clearly at the moment, that's for sure!

Eldy made the executive decision that we didn't need to call anybody at this time of night since the warning beep and light had gone off, and the smell dissipated. We kept trying to figure out why the warning beep had occurred. Finally, Eldy noticed that the rear burner knob on the stove was turned on just slightly, not in full "light" position, but it was on enough to trigger a gas flow. After a lengthy discussion of how in the world could a stove knob be turned in just a partial turn on position, we figured that somehow, SPARKY must have bumped the stove knob when cleaning the stove earlier in the evening, or not paying attention because she was too hyped up on Coca Cola today--I confess I had more than my one Coke!-- OR had started to turn on the wrong burner while doing something at the stove. Eldy just could not rest until an explanation was found! I told him it's because I'm developing Alzheimers early, and don't you know that's one of the first things you start to do is forget to turn the stove off! Good thing my nursing home long term care policy is paid up currently, because we might need it sooner than I think! At any rate, because the living room fantastic fan was running, it kept the gas from building up by the stove area. Once we turned the ceiling fan off for the night, the gas accumulated enough to set off the alarm! Wheweee!!!!! THAT was an eye opener! Sparky will be more careful around the stove, and we know that the alarm works great! Just a reminder to everyone to check your batteries in your detectors in your RV and make sure they all work! We know the smoke detector works because every time Eldy makes his huge batch of popcorn, the smoke detector goes off! We test that one about once or twice a week!

We decided to leave Gunter Hill Campground in Montgomery, AL a day early. Sparky surrendered to the ants! No, not really.....We just decided to get the hell out of the campground that was rife with ants, raining acorns, leaves and a gritty stone site....Guess there were some more drawbacks to that pretty campground after all...The grit coming into the coach from the crushed stone site was getting Sparky down. Had to clean and re-clean the floors every single day...Along with the ants, along with the acorns "storm" that rained every day on the rooftop...Most of the time, the acorns rained down at night..They hit the roof so hard it would wake us up several times a night. So-o-o-o-o, before we could pull out, Sparky, being of sure foot, climbed up on the rooftop to survey the leaf/water/acorn removal job ahead of her:

She cleaned out the acorns and leaves caught in the fans, swept the awning toppers off, and cleared off all the leaves and debris that had rained down for the past six days, and we were good to go!

An uneventful drive today except for the strong, gusty winds buffeting us from side to side. We drove I-65 down south, eventually picking up highway 59 south, which brought us to Gulf Shores. We will be staying at Gulf Shores State Park, quite the place, for the next 3 days...a little over budget to stay on the waterway--35.70 a night, but Sparky might get to see an alligator, so it's worth it to her! Pull through site, full hookups...great facilities. We'll tell you all about it in the next day or two..AND to make it sweeter, our friends, Greg and Jan White are here!


  1. I was at Gulf Shores State Park last month. I didn't camp there, but my daughter rode bikes with some friends of mine. She also went to the beach--she said they were beautiful.

    Propane: My stove is right by my door, and when I was in NM I must have caught one of the knobs. We were out for quite a while, but when we came in I thought something had happened to the black tank. Fortunately, a friend came in to check with me and we were both scratching our heads until she saw the knob on the stove. I'm VERY aware when I pass, now, and always check before I go to bed. Sure glad I don't smoke! Enjoy your stay at Gulf Shores.

  2. Wow! thanks for sharing that lesson with all of us.

  3. OK Sparky. First of all, ease up on the coke. Check your family history for any diabetes. I'll let you figure out the rest.
    The gas detectors are very sensitive little buggers, and for good reason. We never ever had any issues in the ten years that we owned a motorhome, but our CO2 detector went off in the house once, and that was only from some errant exhaust gas from the car making it's way into the dwelling. It's quite often an "owner/operator" issue in these cases. Panic needn't always ensue when an alarm goes off.
    I've also heard tell that flatulent pooches can set off a gas detector. Gah!
    Fun facts, huh?

  4. Lesson learned ... and a good warning to all. We had the alarm go off once ... a heart stopper in the dead of night for sure. It stopped almost immediately though and all the knobs and such were in the proper position, so who knows what triggered it.

  5. WOW....the roof is a mess! Need a good strong breeze to blow all that off...guess it would just cause more acorns to fall...JEESH!

    You'll LOVE the Gulf Shore beaches!

  6. Gulf Shores huh . . .you're down in my neck of the woods. I grew up down there in LA (that's lower Alabama for ya'll unedumacated types) over in Mobile. There is some nice stuff to see over in Mobile, you might want to pop on over and check it out. bay Minette and Fairhope are nice little towns as well, at least they were 35 years ago when I was there last. Connie and I recently retired and will be getting on the road in a 5ver as soon as spew can. You can heck out our adventures at

  7. So glad all is well. I won't comment on you not getting out of the RV because I can't tell you what I would actually do in that situation. I would hope to get out of there but...
    OH MY...that roof IS a mess. You were very smart to clean it off. Many people would just pull the slides in and off they go.
    Enjoy Gulf Shores. It is one of our favorite places.

  8. You are hilarious. . .and although I know it was a serious situation, I was literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD at your Alheimer's drama. . .I promise you. . .that sounds exactly like a conversation we would have. . .and my hubby, being a firefighter. . .would have agreed with Eldy and everything he did. . .good job!

    One weekend, all three of the grandaughters were staying over. . .the oldest one heard me say. . .let me turn on the light over the stove. She, being helpful, and unbeknownst to me turned the burner knobs to LITE. . .thinking that was what turned on the light. . .it did NOT take long for the gas detector to go off. . .thank God for that. . .we did the same as you. . .opened everything up. . .and said a quick prayer of thanks!

    Travel safely,

  9. Now, that's a lot of acorns on your roof! No wonder you left early.
    Those pesky (but so important) propane detectors are SO senstive. Can't begin to count the times in our other RV's that they gave false warnings. Thankfully not having that issue in our current fifth wheel. ENJOY Gulf Shores. Anytime I can see water I think I've died and gone to heaven.