Saturday, November 11, 2017

Deferred Maintenance

56898 miles

188 miles this trip

Heading South for the Winter

The old Grey Goose is flying south for the winter

This is how you reach the gas furnace in our motorhome (behind rear wheel above water heater)

Well, Almost.
First we have a little maintenance to do.  When we last parked it, we had made a list of things to fix, and well, it never got done.  So, time to get serious.  With two weeks til departure, now I've got to hustle to fix the furnace/ propane problems, and the inverter, and a full lube on the chassis.

Six year old house batteries
My first thought with the inverter is that our house batteries were 6 years old and we've hauled them all around the US and used them hard for most of that time.  I called Les Schwab  in Coos Bay some 50 miles north of us and had them charge up 3 new replacement batteries and drove up to get them.

I have been very pleased with these heavy duty truck batteries, and I know I'm supposed to have a deep cycle battery in this location, but in their infinite wisdom, Winnebago sized the battery trays such that the typical 6 volt golf cart batteries do not fit.  After much research and talking to people I trust, and given my past history with these big heavy truck batteries- I got the same batteries again and installed them.
Sadly- the inverter did not spring back to life, as I had imagined that it would do.

I removed and inspected the Inverter, and seeing nothing obviously wrong with it,called on my buddy Mike to see if he could find the problem.  Mike suggested his son Paul would be the best person to diagnose the problem.  He was right about that!  Paul did several checks on the inverter and pronounced it ancient but in very good condition.  Paul told me to buy a new remote panel and wire set.  I got on Amazon, and had an exact replacement on it's way.  Sure enough, I plugged the new wire and panel in at the electrical bay and voila!  The new panel, and inverter worked beautifully !!  Now all I had to do is run the new wire from the electrical bay to the status panel in the galley.

Inverter control cable pinched paper thin and shorted out

New inverter remote panel (bottom)
As I attempted to find out how the original wire was routed, I found this.  The wire had been crushed by the bedroom slideout.  I'm so glad I had not gotten lazy and decided the re-use the existing cable with the new panel!  My friend and neighbor Howard helped me navigate my way around the open spaces of the RV with the new wire, eventually ending up in the correct space!  Needless to say, I chose a different route than the original. 

Oil runs out of the propane regulator and hoses

One more problem we had to investigate was the contamination of our propane regulator with oil.  We lost the use of our propane furnace, and water heater at the end of last season.  When we got to Port Orford in May I checked the propane tank and delivery system.  The regulator and the lower hoses were filled with oil.   Faithful blog readers may remember that going south in 2015 we developed a crack in our 30 gallon propane tank.  It was covered under warranty and replaced in Tucson.  We were worried that the replacement tank may have been incorrectly installed.  All summer I never got back to the problem.  NOW two weeks before our departure, I get excited enough to make some calls to the manufacturer.  I am assured by the manufacturer's rep that it cannot be the tank at fault.  I find out that my friend Mike is in Coos Bay, so I call and ask him to bring me a replacement regulator from one of the RV shops.  Luckily, the regulator works with no problems, and we decide to run with it and see if the problem returns.
Hwy 101 near Port Orford
 There are many checklists that must be completed before launch.  Or loading manifest for food, clothing, and electronics, is one, and the house preparations is another.  Gutters cleaned, water turned off, heat set on low, etc, etc.
Launch day is finally here and, of course, the weather has turned already, and we leave Port Orford in a driving rainstorm (pun intended)
After hooking up the car, my jeans are soaked and my sneakers go squish with each step.  I climb aboard and warm up as I change to a dry pair of pants and dry shoes.

It's all worth it as the bus starts to roll and a new adventure begins.

After a very late start the first night we land in Medford, at the brand new Southern Oregon RV Park in Central Point on the Expo grounds.  Very nice- we'd recommend it.  Sorry I didn't think to get some photos!  Tomorrow we continue on to Reno, NV, and we hope a little better weather!

Thanks to all who helped us with our preparations, and a fond farewell til Spring.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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