Saturday, May 29, 2010

Heading Back to Texas

We pulled away from Park Sierra on Wednesday, May 26, and began our 7-day journey to Nacogdoches,TX where Xtreme Paint & Graphics will fix our slide room problem, paint the roof with a non-skid urethane finish, install new outside mirrors and swap out the old and uncomfortable driver and front passenger sets for new ones. When that is competed we’ll drive over to Motorhomes of Texas for some routine maintenance and to check the small leak in the radiator. This is not the kind of traveling we like to do. We have almost 1800 miles to cover and we have to be in Texas on Tuesday, June 1. It is get up early and get on the road before traffic builds. Pull over for a quick lunch alongside of the road and then keep on moving. If Trixie was confused in the past about where she is at, she will be totally lost by the first of June.

Trixie loved the grass

The first day we drove to Bakersfield, CA and “camped” overnight in the lot of Cummins West. The next day Cummins fixed a leak in the line to the fuel filter, changed the oil (40 quarts) and lubricated the chassis. We were out of there at 12:30 and then drove 330 miles to Kingman, AZ and pulled into the perfect spot at Camp Wal-Mart at 6:30. I went in to the courtesy desk to ask if we could park overnight on the perimeter of their huge parking lot. I was told that it was O.K. with the store, but the town might object. The lady behind the service counter quickly added that no one had ever been asked to leave. There were at least five other RVs in the lot.

Our first Wal*Mart campground

Friday we departed from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Kingman at 7:00 a.m. and headed toward Winslow, Arizona.   (If Winslow, AZ sounds familiar it might because of a song by The Eagles.) We drove about 220 miles and pulled into the Wal*Mart Super Center early in the afternoon.

Here we are in Albuquerque, NM
Saturday we got up a little later, but were out of the parking lot at 7:45 and headed toward Albuquerque, NM. We arrived at 12:30 only to find that our rig is way too big to get into the parking lot so we took a road that ran in back of the store and found a nice private school with lots of parking area and so we camped there. We covered about 300 miles. Along the way, we experienced another problem with the coach. About 150 miles west of Albuquerque our CHECK ENGINE light came on. We pulled over right away and looked for obvious signs of trouble, but found nothing. Next, we called Gary Omel, who is a former Foretravel factory technician, a former over-the-road truck driver and the kind of guy who has forgotten more about diesel engines, trucks and things mechanical than most people will ever know. And he loves to solve problems.

Gary had us do a few things. Because we have specialty software called VMSpc we have instantaneous information about what is going on with our engine. We monitor: engine temperature, oil pressure, engine load, battery strength, transmission temperature, fuel consumed and a few other items all displayed on my laptop. We could monitor more functions, but frankly would not know what to do with the information.

So, with all of this information, Gary was able to determine that we are not in a situation that could lead to engine failure and that we can safely proceed to Nacogdoches with a watchful eye on engine temperature and oil pressure.  And listen to the ding, ding of the warning tone for 800 more miles.

Stay tuned.


  1. VMSpc will/should interpret the check engine problem for you. One of it's features is to read the diagnostic code and convert it to plain english.

  2. Ugh! Not a fun trip for you. I hope everything gets resolved to your satisfaction soon. :)

  3. One of those fast and furious trips! Sorry you are having some issues....that can be very frustrating. Hopefully everything will be fixed very easily. Good luck!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)