• The Fuckup Fairy squats on us!

    It started oh-so-innocently this morning when I did my daily walkaround to see what was leaking and what fell off. I discovered that a critter, probably of the feline persuasion, had knocked over a bottle of cooking oil and apparently had gnawed at the cap so much  that it leaked. As in forty-eight ounces of cooking oil leaked onto the concrete patio and _under_ out patio carpet.

    I tried hosing that off, but shortly discovered that the water heater didn’t ignite. No fire, no burp, no light, no nothing. I’ve been here before; the culprit is a heat fuze that just blows when it pleases. The purpose is to prevent a fire from continuing.

    I was sure I had a spare, but turned out I had replaced one in our trailer in 2012 and I’d used the spare to replace the fuze in this bus in 2014. So I didn’t have a spare.

    A fuze couldn’t be obtained here until after we were gone. Fortunately the water heater will work on electric providing someone remembers that  you can’t run the water heater, the fridge, the air conditioner and the oven or coffee maker all at the same time. If we’re plugged into 30A we’ll just pop the breaker but if we’re plugged into 50A we’ll probably melt the plug. That’s not good.

    So we decided that since we wouldn’t be paying for electricity again until October we could repair the water heater in a couple of months when we could again receive Amazon.

    Then it was time to make the Wally World trip. Since we’re leaving next Wednesday and we were low on food, we decided to proceed today and stock up for the week and our travel days.

    We were most of the way back to the ranch when we felt that the toad a/c wasn’t cooling and all of a sudden got a spray of coolant across the windshield. Since the temp guage never got entirely into the red we limped slowly back to the CG. Mom pointed out an enormous crack across the plastic top of the radiator. Coach-Net will tow it to town and Bushnell Tire will fix it.

    The concern is that it’ll arrive Thursday, they’re closed on Saturday and Sunday and this Monday holiday weekend. And we’re leaving on Wednesday. I’ll drag the damned thing to Montgomery in pieces if I have to.

    And the fuckup fairy is giggling.

  • On to Walt’s and beyond

    Cunnnins Ocala finally turned us loose at noon Thursday, about $1800 lighter, but the generator is purring like a contented fat cat and our fluids, filters and diapers have been changed. The big deal service was around $500 and while that’s high I believe a visit to the mothership every couple of years is good. For example, the tech found a loose clamp that could have led to an off hose and a dusted engine; that’s a $30,000 clamp.

    I talked with some folks in a newish Tiffen who had picked up a rock the in the idler pulley. Not only did it make a racket but it was shredding the belt. The tech succeeded in digging the rock out of the idler. How do get a rock up there?

    So we waddled over to Walt’s Brakes & More in Ocala, the guys I wish we could just carry around with us.

    In about five minutes of troubleshooting the tech said he was satisfied with his diagnosis of the toad-brake failure. When I inquired he said that he had previously (a year ago) apparently used too-small screws and the ground wires had vibrated off the frame, so that was fixed forthwith.

    The toad was what really needed the work. It’s had two replacement starters in two years to try to fix the symptom of click…click…click. It might start right up or it might click for an hour. It took a litte forceful “it ain’t the starter” but I eventually had a mind-meld with the tech who very nicely installed a starter button. Like those 1920s cars had. You turn on the ignition then press the button to start. It’s a really nice button covered with black rubber on the left dash.

    Note that the little bitch cranked right up when we left Cummins and has cranked right up first time every time since then. I think Mom put the fear’o’God into her. Whatever works.

    So after five days in Camp Parking Lot we moseyed (I don’t care if it was I-75, I moseyed) down to our CG on the Withlacoochee River. No one was there to meet us after practically demanding an arrival time but in defense I did assure the new manager that I’d  been there before and was familiar with the park. I’d defy anyone to find their lot without direction otherwise. We wandered around and found our lot, dug up the sewer connection to verify that there actually was a sewer connection, and with the entire park in attendance got into our spot without muss or fuss. The trick is our radios. At Walt’s Mom backed me up to park so close that my rear camera showed the ants running across that brick which pretty much occuped the entire frame. I was freaking out.

    Anyway, we’re at the CG on the Withlacoochee. That’s the Big Withlacoochee, as opposed to the Little Withlacoochee. Which is fairly close to Croom-a-coochee. As my friend said several years ago, “Come on over, we got plenty of coochees!”


  • Camp Parking Lot yet again!

    I guess we’ll start at the start. We were at Suwanee River Rendezvous in January when we were hit by the ice storm / freezing rain / sleet whatever. All I know is that trees iced over and fell including the one that cut power to the CG.

    That night. At 22F.

    We had battery power and the furnace was heating until it wasn’t. You see, the furnace blower motor draws about eight amps and it ran continuously until it ran the house batteries too far down. I had to run the main engine to put enough into the house batteries to crank the generator, all at 22F.

    So we got the generator started and it happily ran for about three hours until it didn’t. At 22F. So we cranked up the main engine again.  By the next afternoon the power was back but the generator was kaput.

    Fast-forward to today; we’re at Cummins/Onan in Ocala at Camp Parking Lot. This is a nice Camp Parking Lot with 50A electric and water and we even have a tree, at appoximately $2,000 a day.

    Our day started at 05:30 so we could guzzle some coffee. We moved the chirrens into the the waiting room; they didn’t have much to say because they were still asleep.

    After a few hours the techs determined that a fuel line was plugged up. On any normal motorhome that would simply involve removing a cover and blowing the line out. But not us. It required REMOVING THE GENERATOR.

    And removing the generator isn’t the normal easy-peasy manuever. No, it takes removing the fake grille, removing the covers, raising the front of the MH, blocking up the generator, lowering the front of the MH and fishing out the generator with about a half-inch clearance. Without a forklift.

    And they did it! The estimate was an hour and a half but they had it out in less than an hour.

    Turns out that fuel line was indeedy plugged up, not only with recent oil but with 23 years worth of baked on crud. As was the regulator and the other fuel line. Imagine you’d used a grill for 23 years and never cleaned it.

    So tomorrow’s plan is the replace the regulator and lines, button it up and Bob’s your Uncle.

    When we leave this Camp Parking Lot our next stop is Walt’s, our next Camp Parking Lot. Walt’s has become a yearly visit. I think he fixes us fast just to get us out of his parking lot.