Daily Archives: June 7, 2022

Throw’d Rolls . . .

I’ll give you more info about our visit to Lambert’s Throw’d Rolls in tomorrow’s blog post.


June 7, 2010

Moab and Monticello…

We pulled out of our park about 8 am, heading first right down the street to take on about 140 gallons of diesel. And for a change, the price had gone down.

When we got here, the price was $2.97, then yesterday the price was $2.91. Today it was $2.89. And this is the first time in a long while that diesel is cheaper than unleaded, if only by 4 cents.

We left the station and pulled on to I-15 South about 8:30, heading toward Monticello, UT, about 270 miles away. We had a great time spending a few days with our friends Pat and Judy, and they did a fantastic job showing us around Salt Lake City. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with them again soon.

The first thing I starting checking after we got on the road was whether or not my PacBrake exhaust brake is working, or at least activating.

I know it’s not working, or at least it doesn’t seem to slow me down any more than just the downshifting than happens. But what I didn’t know is whether or not it’s actually moving into position.

But now I do. Last night I mounted a video camera in the engine compartment under the bed and ran the cable to a small monitor up on the dash.

In the first photo you can see the PacBrake valve in the rest position.

Video 1

In this photo the valve has moved. 

Video 2

So now I know that the air actuator is working and moving the valve. I think this means that I have one of two other problems.

The PacBrake is a butterfly valve that is installed right after the turbocharger and provides backpressure to the system when it closes. So this means that either the valve is not closing all the way, or I have a leak in my exhaust system.

So now I’ve got to try to figure out where to go next with this.

Actually I was really hoping that the PacBrake wasn’t activating. That would mean that I had a bad relay or a bad air solenoid or actuator, something that would be easier for me to fix.

Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.

About noon we hit a 25 mile stretch of I-70 so we stopped in Green River at an Arby’s located in a truck stop so we had no trouble parking.

Along the trip today I noticed that my engine temps were running hotter than normal. Usually my water temp runs rock steady on 175 degrees, with occasional excursion up to 180-185 on long hills.. But today I’m hitting 190 – 195 on the hills with one 199 observed. I knew I wasn’t low on water, so what was wrong?

Then it suddenly dawned on me that it was about 95 degrees outside. This is the first time we’ve seen 80 degrees this year, much less 95. Most of our travels this year have been in the 50-60 degree range. So now it made sense. One less thing to worry about.

During the trip we saw some great scenery along the way. These photos are in no particular order.

Utah Scenery 1 Utah Scenery 20 Utah Scenery 19 Utah Scenery 18

Utah Scenery 17

This is Wilson Arch, about 25 miles south of Moab, UT.

Utah Scenery 15 Utah Scenery 16Utah Scenery 13Utah Scenery 14  Utah Scenery 12 Utah Scenery 11 Utah Scenery 10 Utah Scenery 9 Utah Scenery 8 Utah Scenery 7 Utah Scenery 6 Utah Scenery 5

Utah Scenery 4 Utah Scenery 2

About 2:30 we pulled into Mountain View RV Park in Monticello, UT. The note on the office door said to find a site and pay later, so we did.

Monticello 1

I did have to reposition sideways a little or there would have been some serious ‘slide kissing’ going on. Even now there’s not a lot of room.

Monticello 2

This park has about 30 spaces, and is basically an RV park in someone’s large front yard. That’s their house in the back there.

Monticello 3

Our daughter Brandi called just as we were getting parked. She and Jan talked a good while going over the wedding plans for the 21st.

We had leftovers tonight so we didn’t even unhook the toad. Just one less thing to do before we leave tomorrow morning.


June 7, 2017

Rushmore Not . . .

Last night I was thinking that, although I now could start the generator, I  still didn’t really know if it actually worked, you know, generated.

So this morning I decided to do a full test on the generator and transfer switch. Going outside, I extended the generator, and while pressing the Start button, I touched the solenoid wire to the power lug and the generator started right up.

I had realized that when I started it up the other day,, I did not press the Start button, but just used the solenoid wire, and that was why it took 5 or 6 tries for it to catch. As it turns out,  there is a sequence of 9 different things that happen with the press on the button.

Generator Start Sequence

So with the generator running I went inside to wait for the transfer switch to change over.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

Since I recently had replaced the transfer switch, there was also a question of about its function too. So to see if it made any difference I went outside and shut off shore power, and then came back inside.

And waited.

And waited.

And then it dawned on me. I had turned off the output circuit breaker on the generator while I was working on it. So back outside to flip the breaker back on.

And by the time I got back inside the rig, I had power. So we’re good to head south now.

I have not yet been able to figure out what the actual problem is. It could be a broken wire, or it could be a problem with the controller board not sending out the start signal to the solenoid.

In many cases the wire might be the most likely problem. But in this case the wire goes right into a wire harness encased in a cover and comes out about 18” later and goes into the controller housing. So with no damage obvious to the harness, a bad wire is not high on the list.

And, according to Cummins, a new controller board is $995.00. So my temporary-for-now/permanent-maybe idea is to use a remote starter switch from O’Reilly Auto Parts to start the generator from inside while I’m also pressing the Start button.

Bosch Remote Starter Switch

Once I determine where the problem really is, which may not happen until we get back to Houston, I’ll decide how to proceed. If it turns out to be the controller board, I’ll see if I can get one cheaper than $1000. If not, the aux starter switch will become permanent. But since I have two blank switch positions on the dashboard panel I may wire it in permanently. We’ll see.

About 1pm Jan and I head south back down to the Mt. Rushmore area for a couple of more touristy things. And our first stop was at the Dinosaur Museum, located right next door to the Reptile Gardens.

DM 1

DM 2

They did have a large number of both skeletons and mockups.

DM 3

A pteradon.

DM Pteradon

DM 5

A Dimetrodon

DM 6

Mr. T-Rex himself.

DM 9

This is the skull of a SuperCroc. At over 40 feet long it could swallow any of today’s gators and  crocs whole.

DM 10

Two of the Sea Lizards.

DM 8


The next two are ‘Not-Dinosaurs’. But I guess they had the skeletons so they put them to good use.

This is the ‘Short-Faced Bear’ which only died out about 11,000 years ago.

DM 7

This is the Smilodon, a sabre-toothed cat that also died out at the end of the last Ice Age, about 11,000 years ago.

DM 11

A very nice visit.

Next up was our visit to Mt. Rushmore itself. We decided to first drive some of the scenic loops and stop at the monument on the way back. But finally coming back about 6pm, it was raining hard so we decided to bypass until tomorrow. in fact it rained on us a good bit while we were on the Needles Highway.

So tomorrow we’ll visit the monument, and then drive the Wildlife Loop. So I’ll wait until tomorrow to post all our Rushmore stuff at one time. But I will leave you with this photo.

MR 2

There were black storm clouds silhouetting the monument, really making it stand out.

Coming back into Rapid City, of course it stopped raining, so we decided to have dinner at Millstone Family Restaurant on La Crosse. Highly rated on Yelp, it was good for us also.

We both had the Soup & Salad Bar, Jan just getting a salad, while I also got a cup of the Corn Chowder.

Millstone Soup & Salad

For her dinner, Jan got the Chicken Strip Dinner.

Millstone Chicken Strips

I got the Double Cheeseburger with Bacon, as well as a bowl of their other soup of the day, Bean N Ham.

Millstone Burger

And as per Yelp, everything was really good.

As I said, tomorrow we’ll revisit the Mt. Rushmore area, and then if we have time, the Dinosaur Park where Jan visited when she was in the 2nd grade, and also the South Dakota Air & Space Museum out near Ellsworth AFB.

A busy day.

Thought For The Day:

SECRET: Something you tell everybody to tell nobody.