Daily Archives: March 12, 2017

On The Road Repair . . .

Today was a day of repairs, with two known and one popping up at the last minute. But since we only had a 3 hour trip to Las Cruces today, I had plenty to time to work through a couple of them.

First up was a problem I put on the back burner for a couple of days. Last night when we left the coach to go eat next door at the Van Horn Steakhouse, a loud clatter came from the rig’s step as it extended. And then again as it retracted.  Sounds like a broken gear in the drive motor.

I replaced that gear about 5 years ago in the original steps. But now we have a entirely new step system due to our blow-out in May 2015. So now it looks like I’ll need to do it again. But since it’s still working I’ll probably wait until Benson to investigate further.

The most pressing problem was that the trim strip over the rig door that covers the joint between the roof and the sidewall had come loose and started to peel back due to the wind while we were traveling.

So I had to drag the big step ladder from the back of the truck and climb up there. Found that the rivets had pulled out along the strip. I didn’t have any Pop-Rivets of the right size, so I used some galvanized sheet metal screws to tighten it back in place for now. Then just in case I put a piece of clear Gorilla Tape over the end to keep the wind from catching under it again.

So finally about 11:00am we were pulling out of the park and on our way.

For about a quarter of a mile.

That’s when I realized I had another problem.Luckily I found a nice place to pull over and check it out.

Rig Airbag Repair

And a quick look confirmed my suspicions. Although the front airbags were inflated, the rear ones were not. And from past experience I was pretty sure what had happened.

So taking a flashlight and putting down a pad over the gravel, I stuck my head underneath the rear of the rig right behind the rear tires on the driver’s side.

And this is what I saw.

Rig Airbag Valve 1

The rod that runs from the airbag proportioning valve to the frame had come loose. This valve ‘proportions’ the air supply between the front and rear airbags to keep the coach level. And when the rod comes loose, no air gets to the rear bags.

But to get to the problem I had to put the coach up on the rear levelers so I could get under there. So I cranked back up and raised the rear of the coach as high as it would go. Then with screwdriver in hand I crawled under the rig.

Now before everyone starts telling me I shouldn’t be under the rig when it’s supported only by the hydraulic levelers, the only dangerous part is the few seconds it took me to crawl under the outside edge of the coach. Once I was fully under there the coach could have come all the way back down and I would have been safe, since there was plenty of room for me.

Of course I would be stuck there until the coach was lifted back up, but hey, nice time for a nap.

The last time this happened it was the grommet itself that had deteriorated and come apart. So when I replaced that one , I bought a couple of spares.

Rig Airbag Valve Grommet

But this time it looked like the rod had just pulled out of the grommet.

So it was pretty quick work to loosen the small hose clamp, insert the rod until it bottomed out, and tighten the clamp back down, really tight this time.

Rig Airbag Valve 2

Back in the rig, I cranked up and raised the levelers, letting the rig come up on the airbags, before I went back out to check, and found everything back to normal.

So 40 minutes later we were back on our way, and had no more problems with it.

Several people suggested taking the Transmountain Expressway around El Paso, but since it was Sunday noon when we were going through, we decided to take the route straight through town.

And it worked out fine. We did 60mph the entire way, never slowing down at all. Just whizzed right on through with no problems or construction.

Since we got back the hour we lost to Daylight Savings Time when we entered the Mountain Time Zone, we got into Las Cruces and were parked at the Coachlight RV Park by about 1:30.

I’m going to wrap this up now, and continue with our dinner at La Posta de Mesilla in tomorrow’s blog.

Thought for the Day:

“I had the right to remain silent… but I didn’t have the ability.” ― Ron White