Daily Archives: June 20, 2015

Where Do I Begin?

And it started out so good, too.

Recapping yesterday, Friday the 19th.

We pulled out of Affinity RV about 9:30 right on schedule with Jan following me in the truck, with our first stop the Sam’s Club to get diesel. I was a little disappointed to find the price had gone up two cents since yesterday, now at $2.39. Still no bad, but I should have seen this as an omen of what was to come.

I was only able to get two $100 fill-ups because that was all they allowed, and they have no way to just turn the pump on and let it run. So I ended up with a total of about 82 gallons instead of the approximately 125 gallons I wanted to purchase.

Then it was another few miles down the road to Alvarez Tires to get my new tires installed. I had been told by the owner that we were expected and that if I got there before 11, they would have us out the door by 2pm

Yeah, right.

I should have known there was going to be a problem when we got there and they had no idea who we were, nor was there any room on their lot for us. They did figure out that they did have our tires there though.

Now that we had diesel I could run the genset so we could have the roof AC’s running to cool the coach for Mister. But since the genset exhaust and the hot exhaust pipe comes out right by the driver’s front wheel, I ask them to work that tire first so they wouldn’t have a problem getting burnt.

That wheel already had a new tire on it, the one that was replaced at Affinity yesterday. But I wanted it pulled off so they could balance it.

They had me drive the rig around back until they could get to it. It hadn’t really gotten hot yet, so I  turned the roof fans on and opened some windows to keep Mister cool.

Next up, I checked the date codes on our new tires. The date on the tire already on the rig was 1215, so the 12 week of 2015. All the rest of the tires were various dates in 2015, except one that was 5014, so the middle of December last year. All fine with me, even the 2014 one, Six months is no big deal

After a lot of research on the trucker sites, I went with the Ironman I-601 295/75R22.5 14 ply tires. When I actually saw the tires I was impressed by the depth of the tread. It seemed almost an inch deep.

After parking the rig around back and leaving them the key (and warning them about Mister) Jan and I headed over to Origin Bistro for a last lunch. As it turned, lunch was the highlight of the day. It was pretty much all downhill from there.

But our lunch was great. I had the Sourdough Reuben, with made-in-house corn beef, made-in-house sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, all on Sourdough bread. Delicious!

And even better for me they had the Grilled Mexican Corn for my side dish.

Origin Bistro Sourdough Reuben

Jan got the Fried Avocado Tacos with Grilled Chicken, and the seasonal veggies, which she couldn’t stop raving over..

Origin Bistro Fried Avocado Tacos

After that great meal, we were both too full to even split a Fried Bread Pudding, so we settled on a small bowl of fresh fruit, in this case, strawberries and blueberries. It was available as a side,  but worked great as a dessert. And our waiter said it was on the house. Nice.

Getting back to the tire place, I was happy to see that they had moved the rig around to the lot in front, but unhappy to see that nothing had, or was being done on it.

I was also unhappy to see that the truck water temp was starting to run climb. And when I checked it out, I found that my radiator leak had returned. I had repaired it several months ago, and we’ve driven about 5000 miles since then, including our 3000 mile round-trip back to Illinois last month with absolutely no problem

Until now.

I gave up on waiting for them to get started on the front tire so I went in the rig and cranked up the genset. As usual it started right up and after a short time the speed stabilized. But after a minute or so, I did not hear the expected start of the AC’s So I plugged a 3 light tester into an outlet and found I was not getting any AC power to the coach.

AVG Antivirus Professional 2015

My first thought, of course, was the transfer switch. But then I realized that not only was I not getting any AC power, but I was not getting any 12V to the batteries either. So that more than likely eliminates the transfer switch.

But just in case it was a temporary glitch, I shut it down, waited about 15 minutes, and then tried it again. With the same result.

Paying a little more attention this time, I noticed that the genset rpm’s were not steady. Normally, when you do a cold-start, it starts running fast for a minute or so, and then settles down. You will hear it change speed when you add a load, like the AC’s. But otherwise it runs at a steady speed.

But now it would run fast for about 30 seconds, then slow down for about 30 seconds, fast for 30 seconds, then rinse and repeat.

So my next check was to go outside, run the genset out on its cradle, and start it up from there, hoping to see something on the status light. But nothing showed up.

So as of right now, it looked like it’s going to be a hot ride to Verde Valley.

Finally about 1:30 someone started working on our rig. Don’t think we’re going to make our 2pm departure.

They went ahead and started with the driver’s side front as I had requested. Of course it didn’t make any difference now. Since they only had to balanced this one, they were done pretty quick, and then started on the passenger front. This was the tire where the blowout happened and the insurance company had given us a new (used) wheel to mount our new tire on. But about 15 minutes later, more bad news.

The new-to-us wheel did not fit our coach. The size and bolt pattern was correct, but the holes were too small, not by just a little, but a lot. So our only solution was to use the old wheel that survived the blowout. It seemed to be OK, since it’s held air for the seven weeks since they mounted the loaner tire on it. As it is, we really don’t have any choice if we want to leave here today.

I called Affinity RV to let them know about the problem, and then called my insurance agent, Chris Yust of C and C RV Insurance. She suggested that take the wheel back to Affinity and let them work it out with the insurance company.

So I loaded it up and headed off on the 30 mile round-trip back to the Affinity. Since I had the wheel in the passenger seat, Jan and Mister stayed in the waiting room at the shop. Unfortunately it wasn’t air conditioned, but with the fans and one of those ‘swamp cooler’ things, it wasn’t too bad.

While we were driving around after lunch, it dawned on me that the AC fan in the truck wasn’t blowing out as much air as it used to. A little Googling told me that it was probably the speed control resistor block, rather than the blower motor itself.

So Jan and I and Mister headed back out. Our first stop was a DQ for something cold. Jan got a Hot Fudge Sundae, with two spoons. One for her, and one for Mister, since Mister doesn’t like to share his spoon. I just had a tall frozen drink.

Then it was on to Fry’s to get gas for the truck. At least my magic Fred Meyer’s card still work, giving me 40 cents a gallon discount, down to $2.39 a gallon. Then coming back to the shop, I stopped off at a NAPA Auto Parts to pick up a resistor block for $8.36. Hopefully it will fix the problem.

By the time we got back to the shop it was about 4:30 and they finally had all 4 rear tires off. I had told the guy that I wanted the valve stem on the driver’s rear inside dual replaced. It has always leaked some since we had the Sumitomo tires put on in 2008 so I’m hoping a new valve stem will fix the problem. As it turned out, he also replaced the one on passenger side too, since it also looked ‘funky’, his words.

Finally, about 5:30 we were on our way. Jan followed me in the truck for about half a mile until we found a place to hook up. And although we were on our way, it was not a fun trip.

By this time it was over 90 degrees inside the rig, and although we had the windows open and fans running, it didn’t help much. By the time we got to Verde Valley, it was about 6:45 and we were pretty miserable. Mister just laid in the corner and wouldn’t move.

Jan and I would have liked to do the same thing, since it was about midnight before the AC’s got the temperature down to normal.

That’s about it for yesterday. I’ll catch up with today, Saturday tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” – Joseph de Maistre, 1753-1821