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Washer + Dryer

TrackTown, USA:  After more than two months of using our dryer by wedging the dryer door closed with two garden stakes velcroed to the closet door to keep the dryer door sealed... and dealing with a washer that needed to have the circuit breaker re-set nearly daily, Brian installed a new set of appliances in our RV today. The old set were less than nine years old, but - as we always say - the washer and dryer are the most-used items in our motorhome.

We did not choose the washer and dryer that came with our motorhome when we ordered it in 2008. Our RV was delivered to us with an Ariston washer and dryer. Separate units, stacked together in a closet in the bath area. We really liked the brand, and I was very excited about a new washer and dryer.

Probably too excited.

Guess what prevented us from arriving on time for our 9a appointment with Brian Van De Walker at Premier RV Service? The entry steps would not retract! Really? How many times have you read about this issue with our steps on this little blog?

Usually, we can jiggle the wire in the door hinge, restart the bus a few times and - if we are lucky - the steps will retract back into the belly of the beast and we can continue down the road. Not this morning. There was nothing we could do to get the steps to retract. Finally, Dave just drove to the RV service center with the steps sticking out! Pretty sure this is not safe nor legal, but we had only a few miles of rural roads on our route. (Many fellow campers honked and waved, pointed to our bus, indicating the steps were out, as we left the RV park this morning.) The RV arrived safely to Premier RV Service.

Brian is the best RV tech in America. This is not just our opinion. Especially if you own a Country Coach, Brian is your guy. He knows where every button, wire, switch and instrument panel is housed, wired and fed. He is especially fond of our bus as he received the Magna Peregrinus just as she came off the production line in the fall of 2008. Brian oversaw the completion of our motorhome as Country Coach was fighting bankruptcy and suffering through several shut-downs. Brian notices all sorts of things we do not notice (or have a clue of) and keeps our motorhome looking still brand new and shiny.

We had over seven hours to kill fill before returning to fetch our motorhome. We went to breakfast. We went to the University of Oregon Bookstore to shop for Duck stuff. We went to the track to see which athletes were practicing (none, we soon learned, until the track was open to athletes at 1p, dang), but still ran into a group of old friends prepping the stadium for the meet and caught up. Then we visited the Duck store at the football stadium, stopped to Dave's office at TrackTown, window-shopped in the next-door mall, drove to the Valley River Inn to pick-up our meet tickets, had a mid-afternoon snack at 5th Street Public Market, and found a few fun things for Leo and Lucy at the fabulous Elephant's Trunk toy store. Dave had a session with a physical therapist and then - finally - we went back to Junction City to reclaim our motorhome.

Out with the old and in with the new:

2008 v 2017

Same brand. Nearly exactly the same size. Different color. I did like the grey color of the old units, but honestly, they are behind closet doors and I really don't care if they are purple with green polka-dots as long as they clean my clothes.

Brian did have to remove the refrigerator door (and all of the stuff in the door bins!) to remove/install the appliances. During the process, he taped-up the fridge with some-sort of film that kept the fridge cold the entire time. Genius!

The units are Ariston/Splendid. Though an English company, the machines are made in Italy. If you watch the House Hunter International TV shows, you know many foreign or European washer/dryers are sized to fit under a kitchen counter, and these smaller units are exactly what we have - and what we have used for years now. They work great and are extremely water-efficient. Though smaller than a standard American washer, I can wash our duvet cover in the washer - and the duvet cover is the largest item we ever have to wash.

The new units seem easier to operate - less buttons/choices - but it will take us a while to decide on our "favorite" cycles. (I am certain it will not be the "curtain" cycle. How often do Europeans wash curtains that it requires a separate cycle?) Our old Ariston dryer was 220v and the replacement is 110v. It will take a bit longer to dry clothes. We can deal with this matter.

And our entry step issue? Brian installed a new "brain" in our entry step. Hopefully this will finally stop the issue with our stoopid sensitive steps.

In other news: Maricela checked on our casita at the Motorcoach Country Club today. She sent photos of our campsite and let us know all is well in 104° Indio. Maricela included a photo of our beautiful olive tree. Our gardener, Mr. Medina, always trimmed the tree to where it looked more like a topiary than a fluffy full olive tree. This year, I asked him to "let it go". Medina suffered mightily all winter - just itching to get his hedge trimmer to the branches. Our last week in Indio, we had another conversation and I asked that he trim the olive tree so the lower trunks showed. Boy, he must have had a blast last week:

Before (behind the palm) and After

HEADS UP: Tomorrow night there is a very special evening of women-only running, throwing and jumping at Historic Hayward Field. The event is open to the public free of charge and will air on NBCSN at 8p Pacific. Events include the javelin, long jump, 800m, 1500m, steeple chase and a 200m elite race featuring the best high school girls in the country. The main event begins at 8:41p - Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) will attempt the 5000m world record.

You have a DVR. Use it.

While you are messing around with the TV remote, please record the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday (if, for some unknown reason you can't watch the live broadcast on NBC from 1p to 3p Pacific). Races will be fast and furious in this best-of-the-best in the world live from the fabled track on the University of Oregon campus. Olympic match-ups re-lived. Olympic medalists and World Champions are in every event. They are running for points and they are competing for cash-money. The Pre Classic is one of the few meets in the world where a mile run is still staged (opposed to the more prevalent 1500m). Look for 1500m Olympic gold medalist, Matthew Centrowitz in a loaded field in the famed Bowerman Mile Saturday. Always the last race. Always the best.

Temperatures predicted into the mid-80s. Not a cloud in the sky.

It will be epic.

Until my next update, I remain, your spin-cycle correspondent.

RV PARK: Premier RV Park. I-5, exit 199. Large paved pull-throughs. Back-in sites line a small lake. Laundry, fitness center, club house, pool in-season, bath house, recycling, small store. 50 amp, free wifi. This park is very popular with campers in the area for University of Oregon sport events - and repairs/maintenance at the many nearby RV facilities. We  are paying $54 per night.