Our Roof Is Naked!

 Posted by at 12:21 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 292011

Yesterday afternoon, Al and Karen Phillips came to the campground to buy our hard shell Native Watercraft kayaks. Karen is a blog reader, and I have been exchanging  e-mails with her since September. It was nice to finally put a face with a name. They are new fulltimers, from Long Island, New York, and a very nice couple.

Last year, Terry and I made wheeled kayak caddies to make moving the kayaks easier, but never got around to using them. Here are Al and Karen with one of the kayaks on the caddy. It’s nice to know they worked! 🙂

Al Karen Phillips kayak

After we loaded the kayaks on top of their SUV, we spent a while visiting, and talking about their experiences working in an Amazon fulfillment center in Campbellsville, Kentucky this Christmas season. They said it was hard work, but the pay was very good. We know several RVers who have worked for Amazon during the Christmas rush. They seem to either love it or hate it.

After hauling the kayaks on the roof of our Ford Explorer for so long, it looks naked without them up there! But I think we’ll appreciate the improved fuel mileage we should get without the boats up there to create extra drag. And we can finally go through an automatic car wash! It really is the simple things in life that mean the most. 🙂

Some blog readers wanted a picture of our leaking heater core, and an explanation of how I plan to bypass it if I can’t locate any water shutoff valves in our engine compartment. The heater core is the big square black thing. It is located in the front of our coach, above the Onan generator. The two black hoses in the bottom right carry coolant from the rear of the motorhome to the heater core and back to the radiator. I plan to disconnect them and plumb them together with a brass connector. This will bypass the heater core, and we’ll be able to drive without losing any more coolant.

Heater Core

I called the Cummins Coach Care RV repair facility in Ocala, and they can get us in next week, but they don’t have the part in stock. They need to see the rig first, and then will order the correct part. I talked to a tech there, who said some Spartan chassis have the water shutoffs and some don’t. He confirmed that my bypass plan will work, and said they do it all the time.

So, the game plan at this time, and always subject to change, is to take the motorhome up to them Tuesday or Wednesday, have them order the parts needed, and then head down to the Keys, if we can still get into Jolly Roger under Passport America. We’ll stay there a few days, and then, depending on when the parts we need are scheduled to arrive, we’ll either go back to the Orlando Thousand Trails, or come back here to the Escapees campground to wait, if they are not in yet.

Of course, all of that could change for 101 reasons I have not thought of yet. Fulltime RVing means being flexible. 🙂

Thought For The Day – Retirement is having nothing to do, and all day to do it in. 

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  6 Responses to “Our Roof Is Naked!”

  1. If you were flexible, you could touch your toes.

    Of course, so could I.

  2. Looks like Miss Terry can add to her RVing credentials: experienced heater-core bypass tech.

  3. Yeah, that looks like the same as ours. We bypassed it for a while as we didn’t have an available place to get it repaired. We also ran with the radiator cap loose and that prevented the pressure from building up, and kept the coolant from spraying out of the leak. We took it to a radiator shop and had them repair it, at the second shop he removed the tank completely from the core as the leak was in the seam. Sure was a lot less than buying a new core. Trouble is in todays world every body is a parts changer and no one repairers anything. It is a throw away world.

  4. Jon is so correct…As a old auto Mechanic we pulled many of these cores and had them repaired at the radiator shop if it was a brass one. Now days it could be made of aluminum. Those you just replace. Of course there is also the “Murphy” fix….A jar of BARS LEAK green in the cooling system, or a tube of ALUMASEAL. stop leak sealants ava at the auto parts counters….

  5. The reason they want to seee your rig is, the 2 hoses are different sizes. that is to make sure the proper hose gets to the proper place. the barbed fitting will have like 5/8 on end & a 3/4 barb on the other.

  6. Nick, did you ask the Coach Care if they have a spot for you to park and have at least some electric. We have had occasions to visit several Coach Care facilities in our travels and have found many to have some hook-ups for RVers.
    The bypass you used will work for a long time as long as you don’t need any heat while driving down the road.

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