As of this afternoon, I feel like the Gulfstream is finally OURS. That happened when I put our new MD license plates on. Getting it inspected and titled in MD (transferring title from PA) was an adventure:
State inspection stations are numerous, but not many will do motorhomes. One of the few RV dealers I still trust does inspections on trailers, but not motorhomes. The other had set (weeks ago) an appointment for tomorrow (23 August). Luckily the first dealer recommended a shop that does truck and school bus work, and inspections on MH's. They are in Crownsville, about 30 miles from home. No appointment necessary, so I took it to them a couple of weeks ago. I took the precaution of fixing what I thought might be two trouble spots--replaced wiper blades and polished the haze off the plastic headlights.
To my great surprise, the inspector found only three defects.
He was concerned that someone might get caught on that bent rear box bumper. The fix for that took me five minutes--knocked off the two remaining rivets and pried off the aluminum trim, which is what was bent outward. I see that you can buy replacement trim, but I've always preferred these bumpers painted, and that's what I planned to do.
He faulted the battery hold-down on the "house" battery (the one on the passenger side). As it turns out, all that was required was for me to tighten the two bolts. But I thought he'd been referring to the main battery. Didn't quite understand how it was held down, so I ordered a new piece from Ford, which took only overnight to arrive. As I asked the dealer's parts guy how the thing worked, his explanation revealed there was nothing wrong on that side, so I didn't have to buy the part.
The real bugger was that exhaust leak that I thought I'd heard. It turned out to be the Y pipe, which connects together the two exhaust manifolds, right behind the engine and ahead of the catalytic converter. The inspection shop has a policy of not performing repairs on the defects they find. He sent me to a little hole-in-the wall of a shop in the city of Annapolis, only about six miles from him. They were kind enough to drive me back to pick up the car. As it happens, you can no longer buy this Y pipe, so a replacement had to be fabricated, and this shop has the ability to do that. When they got into the job, it was complicated by a few bolts that broke off on the engine block, requiring an hour or two of labor to drill out and replace. So a few days later I had the camper back, after a $780 repair bill. Still not bad considering the age and mileage.
My work schedule had me driving about 1,200 miles in less than two weeks, which delayed the trip back for re-inspection. Got that accomplished last Tuesday.
Thursday I went to the MVA for the title transfer and tags. Twice. First time I was 3/4 the way there when I realized I didn't have the title. On the second trip, a very nice lady told me that Peg needed to sign the title application, since she had signed the PA title. This is a complete change from when we bought our '99 Suburban, which also came with a PA title.
No time for a third trip that day, but I got Peg's signature and on Friday went to the main MVA office, having a 3 hour break between funeral services. That was chaos, and I was there for over an hour and a half before I learned that I'd gotten bum advice from the info desk, and was waiting in line at the wrong end of the place...BUT I finally got out of there with license plates and the title application filed.
Yesterday I had a funeral in Delaware, which required about five hours of driving, round trip. As the Brits would say, by the time I got home I was "knackered." Today I had a gig playing a short parade in Baltimore's "Little Italy" neighborhood, and once I was home and recovered from the humidity, I got the new tags on.
I don't have any free time until after our primary election on 14 September, and I think we will either go to the Poconos for some early fall color, or to Virginia Beach or Kitty Hawk. Can't wait to get started.
I'd asked Peg if she wanted to make our first trip to Blackwater Falls, enroute to which we had our mishap last October. She said she thinks she'd like to wait a bit before making that particular trip again...