Summer 2010 Update #3 – maintenance month

We last left off with our report about Commissioning Week at the US Naval Academy and then were headed to Gaffney, SC for Freightliner factory service on our motorhome chassis. Then it was on to visit our good friends of many years, Les and Karen in Oriental, NC, then back home for about a month.

In Gaffney, SC we had some major routine maintenance performed.  Jane and Sassy at FreightlinerMajor since we have now rolled over 50,000 miles.  We needed an engine coolant change (over 10 gallons), new synthetic transmission fluid (at about $35 a gallon), engine oil change (about six gallons of that), differential fluid changed (I think that was only five or six gallons.)  Since we have air brakes like a large truck, we have an air dryer to keep moisture our of the system – that cartridge needed to be replaced.  Oh, we also had a new engine air filter installed – our air filter is about the size of a round kitchen trash can (the kind where you step on a pedal to lift the lid.)

And of course, we can’t forget servicing of the diesel generator [sigh…]  We left quite a bit of money in Gaffney.

The visit with Les and Karen was fun as always and our few days passed too quickly.  After leaving Oriental, we made a bee-line for home so John could tend to some ranch duties.

The idea of being back in Texas in the summer was for the primary purpose of spraying the prickly pear (using a restricted herbicide called Surmount, but John now has an applicator license) to kill it.  Eventually.  The herbicide takes two to three years to kill the pear (as it is called around here),  it is a tenacious plant as you might imagine.  Ranchers actually like pear since it makes great food for cattle (at least once you burn the spines off so the cattle can actually eat it) and it is very drought resistant.  However if there is too much pear, it will decrease the amount grazing land available.  We are on the verge of having too much pear, so it is important to control it now.

Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate (too much wind most of the time) and when it looked like we were going to have a good day to use a boom sprayer on the tractor, the tractor developed a hydraulic leak.  John found a leaking seal and replaced it (along with 10 gallons of new hydraulic fluid – it seems like everything we own uses 6-10 gallons of a petroleum product.)

The tractor was finally back in business (took a few days for the seal to arrive), and so was the wind.  He did manage to spot-spray quite a bit of pear from the mini-truck with a 30 gallon electric sprayer and a hand wand.

John has been wanting to add a roof-top air conditioner to the coach for a couple of years (our present AC is a ‘basement’ unit) for those moments in hot climates, so he finally accomplished that.  It The 'new' 1999 Genie liftwas a great excuse to to buy another toy, er, tool.  He bought a used electric scissor lift (Genie GS-2032) from an Internet auction so he could safely lift the 95 pound unit to the roof of the coach.

July 5th we hit the road headed for the Winnebago factory in Forest City IA for a little more maintenance (are you spotting a pattern here?) and to attend the Winnebago Grand National Rally.  Two days of maintenance and about four days of rally fun passed quickly.  In the meantime our satellite Internet system was having problems.  We got switched to another satellite which was a big improvement, but then had a different issue.  John ended up switching satellite modems out (we had a spare) and that seemed to be the trick – we were on-line again.

Then we headed west to hookup with our RV buddies Bob & Judy in Colorado – we wanted to get relief from the heat and humidity.  When we arrived at a little campground in eastern Colorado (Seibert) yesterday, John discovered the satellite TV in-motion dome (we have DirecTV  while running down the road) has failed yet again.  This is our 4th King Dome (from King Controls) and #4 has failed previously. The back TV is on a separate dish, so at least we have some satellite TV available.

On our way to Colorado, we were in a torrential rainstorm somewhere in Kansas on I-70 and discovered a leak at the top of the windshield (best taken care of by the factory in our opinion), so we’re going to be back there for an appointment September 13th.  [big sigh…]  We’re never at a loss for things to do – there is always something to deal with 😉

Thanks again for traveling along with us, may God richly bless you and keep you safe.