Browsing "Towing and Toad"
Apr 22, 2013 -

Oklahoma!

I had hoped to sleep in this morning, but once I was awake at 6:20, that was it. I said, “Neelix?” and one of the lumps in my bed rose and came to cuddle with me for about an hour.

Ms. Cinnamon told me to have coffee with her this morning, so I didn’t have to touch the kitchen. I just packed the office, checked my email on the iPad, and eventually went outside to fill up the water tank as well as a bunch of jugs. Just as I was finishing this, Ms. Cinnamon came to get me for coffee.

We lounged for a bit then headed out to buy me a new sewer hose. Her favourite RV supply place had just gone out of business, so we ended up back at Walmart.

I needed about 25′ of hose to get to her outlet and mine and the kits were all 20′, with no couplings to put sections together. I finally clued in that I could connect my hose to a really nice complete kit with new fittings, so I splurged (all of $30) and got that. It is going to be so much nicer to wrangle than my current setup, except that it doesn’t fit in my new sewer pipe holder! 🙁

Back home, she helped me dump and then I unplugged so I could be guided out of the driveway. It took a bit of back and forthing and grass trampling, but I finally made it onto the street. I hadn’t driven my truck since I left San Antonio, so Ms. Cinnamon was worried it wouldn’t start, but the thought never crossed my mind. Moya happily roared back to life (I am sooooo looking forward to a prairie drive with her!) and I hooked up easily.

Ms. Cinnamon and I said our goodbyes and then I headed out through Dallas one last time. She gave me good directions, so I just had to watch out for the construction, mad drivers, and traffic. I was really glad to get clear of urbania and get into some easy interstate driving.

I heard Neelix meowing very loudly as we set off, which is unusual for him as he is a cat of few words. It’s almost like he was say, “Mom, wait! WAIT! We forgot Tabitha!” 🙁

My plan was to stop at a rest area in Gainesville, just before the Oklahama border, but it was just a picnic area and out in the open sun, so it wouldn’t have been a great place to spend an afternoon (but would have been a perfect stop last night). It was early, so I decided to continue on to my planned stop for today, the Walmart in Pauls Valley.

I was running really low on fuel in Gainesville, so when I spotted a Shell station that was an obvious easy in and out, I stopped there and got $99 worth of fuel, the maximum the pump would give me (odd number, no?). In Canada, I get the pump reauthorized in those situations since $100 doesn’t go far, but I get more than half a tank for that price in the US, so I prefer to just get that, which forces me to stop more frequently.

And then, without fanfare, I said goodbye to Texas. 🙁 I literally left a piece of my soul in that state and so it will always be a part of me even if the road ends up never taking me back there.

I stopped at the Oklahoma welcome centre for lunch and went in to get some OK City info just in case I decide to play tourist. I was offered coffee, which I gladly accepted!

From there, it was exactly one hour to my stop for the day. Customer service was very welcoming, but this isn’t a great lot for big rigs. I’m not crazy about how I’m parked and I may try to find a better spot if the lot thins out a little this evening.

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Countries, Driving, Nice Folks, Oklahoma, Plumbing, Social, Technical, Texas, Towing and Toad, Travel, USA    5 Comments
Mar 24, 2013 -

More Fun With My Ford Ranger

Wow, this little truck of mine never ceases to keep me on my toes! Its latest trick? For weeks now, I’ve been getting the following sequence of events:

-driving along smoothly or idling at a street corner
-TICK!
-engine revs and truck jerks
-repeat about every 30 seconds

Yesterday, I finally figured out that this has been happening only when it’s hot out, which gave me a clue as to where I should start my diagnosing.

I went out this morning, popped the hood, idled the truck, and played with climate control knob.

As it turns out, the AC clutch wheel thingy that hasn’t been turning to provide me with cold air has suddenly decided to TRY to turn. It will click, spin part of the way, rev the engine, jerk the truck, and then quit. This will happen in all climate control positions except off.

I’m detecting a theme here. Except for the first problem caused by low oil, every issue with this truck has had to do with the climate control system. I must have known deep down in my bones that I was having another issue in this area because it hasn’t caused me to worry much about the truck and I haven’t hesitated to take it out. Now, I know to roll down the windows and leave the air OFF.

I found a great Ford forum with really helpful folks and they are helping me work through this. I’ll troubleshoot as far as I can on my own, then go to a pro… once I’ve had the brakes done. That’s not urgent, but it really does need to get done before I get back to SK and start doing long hauls with the truck.

It’s a shame it’s so nasty cold and windy out today even though we got the promised sun. I was going to take Moya out for a much deserved wash and wax. 🙁

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Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Towing and Toad    4 Comments
Mar 16, 2013 -

Last Weekend On the Beach :(

Friday was a much needed down day for me. The most exciting thing I did was drive into Port Lavaca to pick up my mail and some avocados.

I also checked out all the car washes and decided that none were convenient enough to get into with the rig for me to spend money at them. I really want a nice big wash area that I can pull in and out of without having to unhook. I’ll keep my eye out for such a place as I head out on the road, really needing to remove the salt spray from both vehicles and to buff out any rusty spots. Moya is also asking me for a wax job, so I really want to find a place where I can wash at my leisure.

When I got in, I spent the bulk of the rest of the day watching the DVDs that my friend had sent while cross-stitching and going for strolls along the beach to enjoy the crazy beautiful weather. What a tough life I lead! 😀

I have a weekend-long project to do, so my last couple of days on the beach will be sedate. I am sort of thinking of going to the saloon for a beer and dinner tonight, but am not particularly stuck on the idea.

The weather is slowly growing less pleasant as heavy clouds are rolling in and the wind is picking up, so Monday will definitely be a good day to get back on the road.

I play to roll out between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. I’ll be getting gas here on the beach as a final gesture of goodwill to the community. I did the math and it will be only $10 more for a fill here than in town, so it’s not a huge extra expense for me, plus the gas station is super convenient as you can pull in then circle around the building.

I will be detouring into Port Lavaca to get propane since I am completely out on board, do not want to have the fridge off for long, and the Port Lavaca propane place is super easy to get in and out of with a long rig even if the entrance is rutty.

After that, it will be about three hours to Van Ormy, just outside of San Antonio (I’ll be doing a post about the RV park once I’ve had a chance to check it out). I can check in as of 1PM and want to pull in as close to that as I can to get my full 22 hours on FHU!

Some of the chores planned for Monday afternoon and evening and Tuesday morning:

– hose down my black tank from inside with my high pressure hose attachment;

– vacuum the entire rig (the dust from the beach as been an insurmountable foe);

reshine the floors as the the sand I’ve been tracking in despite a mat has been very hard on them;

– give my batteries a good soak on shore power (I’ve been getting a full charge by late afternoon all week, so I’m not desperate for charging right now, thankfully!) and recharge anything that needs to be recharged.

Late Tuesday morning, I will move into the no service area.

I don’t have much to do to leave on Monday, so I won’t even think about departure until then beyond making sure there’s plenty of room in the back of the truck for the propane tank.

I’m ready, not eager, to go.

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Batteries, Black Tank, Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Cleaning, Countries, Electricity, Itineraries, Maintenance & Repair, Personal, Plumbing, Preparations for Departure, Propane, Technical, Texas, Towing and Toad, Travel, USA, Weather    2 Comments
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