I can’t find it right now, but somewhere in my contract, I’m sure there is a clause about icicles. Yesterday morning when I started unhooking our utilities at the Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico, I found a four inch icicle hanging off the bottom of my bus! That is just not acceptable!
I had filled our fresh water tank when we arrived, and the water had apparently dripped out of the overflow and formed the icicle in the 25 degree temperatures we had overnight. Yeah right, global warming my foot!
So why, you ask, did I fill our fresh water tank if we were hitting the road the next morning? Because I could. While many production model RVs are tipping the weight scale when they come off the production line, our old MCI bus conversion can comfortably carry anything we can stick in or tie on top of it. We have a 105 gallon fresh water tank, and even though we planned to be in a place with water and electric hookups the next day, it comes in handy to have plenty of water on board just in case we get delayed and find ourselves boondocking somewhere.
Now that we’re out here in the mountains of the West, I can really tell how much of an improvement the repairs that Christopher Best did on our engine have made. From Deming to Tucson, we were climbing most of the way. The road ranges from long gradual inclines to a couple of pretty steep climbs. The bus handled them all well.
In the past, on the climb up to Texas Canyon on Interstate 10 just east of Benson, we would drop down to about 35 miles per hour. Yesterday I kept it floored and we topped out at about 60. I had the radiator misters on as we made the climb, and the temperature gauge stayed well down in the comfort zone.
The one place where we did slow down a lot was coming out of the San Pedro Valley at Benson. This is a long, hard pull in a heavy rig, and in the past we’d drop down to about 18 miles per hour on the westbound grade. Yesterday we were down to 33 miles per hour, which was still uncomfortable with all of the high speed traffic flying past us, but a significant improvement from the past.
Interstate 10 through Tucson is still under construction and down to two lanes with concrete barriers on both sides, but we rolled right on through with no problems. We stopped to fill our fuel tank at the Flying J in Eloy, and we averaged 5.2 miles per gallon since our last fill up. For our old bus, in the hills and mountains we’ve been driving in, that’s about what I expected.
We arrived at the fairgrounds in Casa Grande about 4 p.m. and discovered that the new manager, who has been giving us and other RV rallies scheduled to come into the fairgrounds such grief, has been replaced. The new, new manger is supposed to take over next week, and hopefully we can get some details hammered out.
When we unhooked the van from our Blue Ox tow bar, we discovered that our Remco drive shaft disconnect would not engage. I called Cliff’s Welding Shop in Mesa, Arizona, who had installed the unit, and asked for advice. Apparently somewhere in our trip the cable that operates the disconnect had gotten misaligned, which can apparently happen on rough roads with a lot of bumps.
Even though they were in the process of closing for the day, one of their guys stayed there and talked us through the process of crawling under the van to disconnect the cable, manually turning the drive shaft until it was properly aligned, and then manually engaging it. Now that’s the kind of customer service we appreciate!
Of course, Miss Terry was the one who took on this task, coming out pretty well covered in dirt and grease from head to toe. I really think I could have done it, but Terry insists it’s better for her to do such things than for me to try them, which will result in her having to take me to the nearest emergency room to have a finger or two sewed back on, and she’d still have to fix the thing anyway! I have to be honest folks, it’s kind of nice to be married to a good looking lady MacGyver who can fix anything.
Thought For The Day – He has acheived success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.
25* and icicles!! I will stop complaining about it being so cold at 45* every morning:-) We assume your brake system worked well, since we haven’t read otherwise. Glad you made your destination safe and sound. Wish we could be there, but not this time. Keep in touch.
First you get her shot and then you throw her under the van. Lordy, Nick, you really know how to show a girl a good time!
Hope your rally is a resounding success. Wish we could be there!