Well, the first outing is now logged in the book. After purchasing the C325 last summer I had the clear stripped/reshot and the coach gone through by CG in Bellflower. Next I had the hitch upgraded to 10,000lbs by Ekharts. Then she spend a few months at C&S RV having the drivetrain and chasis gone over...so last week the long awaited 1st trip to the lake begins.
Pulling the boat seemed almost effortless behind the C325. Rolled along for about 75 miles averaging 60mph. Our first grade was 6% up hwy 101 between Gaviota and Buelton. The Allison tranny kicked down to 3rd about half way up, and completed the climb at 35mph. As we crested my buddy following noted some smoke from my rig and we inspected at the top of the grade. A little trans fluid was blowing back to the exhaust pipe and causing the smoke. I tightened the trans pan, checked the fluid level and all seemed well. My buddy noticed a little fluid further back and then discovered that the plug to my differential was missing. Apparently the pumpkin never got plugged after the service. This was the cause for gear oil dropplets all over my boat. So a quick trip back to Buelton, and our roadside repair was complete. The rest of the pull to Lake San Antonio was uneventful, and I averaged almoat 5 miles per gallon (ouch). Cuesta Grade was a good pull and we crested that thing at 33 mph. No overheating over either of the grades.
After arriving, we went to drop the boat in the water and found that the trans brake does not have enough grip to hold the RV and boat on the launch ramp. Thus, I had to do a juggle to swap places in the driver seat so that one person could hold the brake pedal while I launched the boat. (Any insight appreciated) The rest of the stay was just about perfect. Airstream comfort at it's best...not like the diesel pushers, but better in my opinion.
So the trip home...All seems great until I go to drop a gear just before the Cuesta Grade. At this point my gear shifter decides that it does not want to move. Using a rediculous amount of muscle, I get it to drop into 3rd and make the descent...at the bottom I muscle it back into 4th. The next grade was not so nice. Needing the same amount of muscle, I break it loose from 4th not into 3rd but down to 1st...talk about a sphincter tightening moment. Thankfully, I was able to get it back up to 3rd before the tranny knew that I had just money shifted the rig. (Any insight appreciated).
Rest of the journey, beautifully uneventful. I made a list of things to pack for the next trip, as well as the issues and bugs I need to correct. Thankful for a safe and fun first outing. Hopefully, the first of many to come. Next outing is only 3 weeks away...can't wait.