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Old 10-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
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1977 27' Overlander
1954 25' Cruiser
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
VC Highlands , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,149
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Well I am beginning to think I am on the trip to hell. Started out in paradise but it is going not well in many ways. I am almost getting to point where I do not trust our little Airtini - it keeps breaking something.

First of all, we went to the NorCal rally at Jackson Rancheria. That was great, we always have a fun time with those folks. Met some really great people.
We were supposed to leave from Jackson Rancheria and head out to Oil Trough Arkansas. But, as I mentioned a few days ago, we discovered that the rear oil seal had gone bad and was dumping oil to the tune of a quart every 100 miles. It had to be replaced.

So, we called some friends we met at Jackson who also had a motorhome, Chris & Bette. That was really great! Great People and perhaps the most generous I have met in a very long time!. We stayed with them nearly 3 full days while Airtini was being repaired. That cost $700 but during that repair, it was discovered that the tail pipe out of the muffler had separated from the muffler and had to be clamped together. I had to take it to a muffler shop and for $40, it was welded together because that was quick and easy.

Now we are back on the road and it has been nothing but problem after problem - I don't know what is going to break next on this run!
I had hoped to go from Kingmnan, AZ to Amarillo, TX today, but it looks like we will not pull into Amarillo until well after 2:00 a.m.
So, here is how our day has gone.... We got in to Kingman at 11:00 p.m. - more than an hour after we expected to. We no sooner park and Kimber says "something smells bad". We look around - I don't smell it like she does. Backup a little here - at Jackson, our charger boiled our batteries to the point of spitting acid all over the battery compartment. Well we thought we fixed that by just not using the charger and letting the batteries charge up from the alternator. (you already know where this is going). Kimber says "It has to be the batteries". Now, I am thinking to myself "how could the alternator overcharge a battery?" Well, I go outside and sure enough I can hear and smell the batteries! I open the tray and the first deep cycle battery is boiling mad. It must have been a cell gone bad.
Well, I lift the leads to that battery and leave the other in service, it was not hot or boiling. I pepper the compartment with baking soda. It foams up better than a fresh Guinness in a cold glass.

We decide to go to the auto parts store the next morning and replace BOTH batteries. So this morning we get a few gallons of distilled water and 2 boxes of baking soda. I sprinkle the baking soda until the inside of the compartment looks like its December 25 at the North Pole and then start to slowly flush it with the distilled. That helps spread the powder and neutralize the acid. Next I pull the batteries and haul them over to exchange for new ones.

I finish to clean up the cabinet and put the new batteries in. Nice clean posts, a new jumper cable, that fun red greeze - I do it all.

satisfied that the job is well done I get all cleaned up and ready to leave. But I notice that there is something new hanging from underneath the chassis. It was a vacuum hose that runs to an actuator off the headers to the muffler - It burned off somehow. So, its another trip to the auto parts store for a hose and a new coupling. I fix that, we fill up and we are on the road.
About 3 hours into todays drive, the overdrive unit, a Mile Marker Dual Range unit slams into low gear and the power goes off. It is locked in Low Gear. We drive 15 miles to the next rest stop and I check out the overdrive. I disconnect the power and reconnect it and it magically starts working again. Shortly after we get gas at 6:00, it goes out again and will not reset immediately with me pulling the power. But eventually it does reset.

So far on this trip we have spent:
2 gallons distilled water - $2
2 boxes of baking soda - $2
New rear oil seal - $700
Muffler weld job - $40
Box of new tools cause I somehow left mine at home - $100
2 more gallons distilled water $2
Another 2 boxes of baking soda - $2
2 new batteries - $180
Battery post cleaning kit - $8
New positive terminal jumper cable - $8
New vacuum Hose - $3
New coupling - $1

Doing the math - we have spent almost $1050 just to get on the road! That was almost my entire fuel budget - one way that is.

Trip to see 88 year old Auntie - PRICELESS!!!

Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Some days you eat the bear... Some days the bear eats you...

Remember Roseanna Danadana? It's Always Something. If it's not one thing it's another.

Next trip you're due to have it smoother than glass.


Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #3
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1977 31' Excella 500
West Sacramento , California
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You are reminding me why a trailer is better than a motorhome. Don't get me wrong, a motorhome is much more roomier and has comfort advantages. But they sit too damn long without being run and the older they get the more mechanical problems they have. My dad bought a 99 Airstream MoHo in 2002 and after he passed away it sat for a year in storage. I would start the motor when I came to town to visit maybe 3-4 times a year. When it came time to drive it to Blythe to be put up for sale at the Hobo Rally, I had nothing but trouble. By the time I got to blythe I vowed never to own a motorhome. I hope you have better luck on this trip and future trips. Once you get everything fixed I'm sure you will have more trust in it.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:58 AM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Welcome to vintage vehicle ownership

But at least you LOOK good when broken down.

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:57 AM   #5
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1995 28' Excella
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Smile The McGuiver Gene

Tim and Kimber,

If all went smoothly, you might as well have been sitting on your couch mindlessly watching some actors on TV pretending to have an exciting life on the road, overcoming obstacles, solving seemingly insurmountable problems, interacting and meeting interesting folk along the way, livin by their wit and gettin it done.

Hey, I think I've seen this movie

Spending money, cheap.
Having an adventure, Priceless!

Say "HI" to Auntie
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,919
You make me feel better about all the things on our trailer that break, though I don't think that was your intention. Our screen door catch broke for the 2nd time this year last night. That's a lot better than a rear main seal.

Good luck with the rest of your trip.

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Old 10-22-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
VAC President
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1977 27' Overlander
1954 25' Cruiser
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
VC Highlands , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,149
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Today, all is actually going smooth! Nothing broke - yet. The speedo cable squeaks out a regular tune that we almost don't hear anymore, except when it stops.
I am keeping my eye on the alternator - as some may know, Kimber and I do not have good alternator karma. We have been through 5 on the Hummer. Well, kimber heard something last night when we were filling up so I popped the engine cover to give a listen. At idle, the alternator has a dry bearing kind of sound that goes away as RPMs go up. I'm just saying......
Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
Rivet Master
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
BUT>>>you Are on the road, and when you park, yer's a 17,000 pound albatross when it doesn't work, and a piece of heaven when it's like any money pit, but it has WHEELS, and , so far, the benefits we have gained from switching to the moho from the '68 Overlander are incomparable...just one man's opinion...ok, ok, So everyone else considers me a child in old man's clothing...but that's just 'cause they envy my Hawaiian shirt collection...and my tiaras...
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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2006 25' Classic
Newport Beach , California
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I will add my hopes and prayers for you to have more fun and less funny business!!

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Old 10-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #10
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2005 25' International CCD
Leesburg , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 292
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My Albatross flew me to a conference 100 miles away this week, gave me the best quarters at the 4H facility and flew me back no problem. It's taken over a year to get things fixed enough to go further than around the block

These classics are not for the faint of heart. I feel your pain, and pleasure Buttercup!!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:14 PM   #11
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Are we having fun yet?

Ain't RV'ing fun...nothing 'breaks' till you're miles from home!

Pat probably mentioned it to you, maybe last year, that her mom was born in Oil Trough Arkansas...then she got smart and moved to California

Pat still has kin back there in Pine Bluff, AR - we took the I-40 route a few years ago for a kin-visit in our Lance camper'd F-350 4x4 with a 4 inch lift! Several of the good old boys back there wanted us to leave the keys laying around so they could 'borrow' that cool rig

BTW, probably the best rest stop we ever 'visited' was the one just across the Arkansas line heading East on I-40 - it's a big 'log cabin' in a wooded setting, with rocking chairs in front of a roaring fireplace, free coffee from the ladys taking care of the place, and lots of free Arkie reading material!

It was a misty, drizzling morning the day we came through there, and Pat (also an Arkie) who never meets a stranger, had a grand visit with the gals at the rest stop - I had a hard time gettin' her back on the road

Hope you have an 'uneventful' road trip the rest of the way...

Ray & Pat
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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We RVers are always searching for campfire 'tales'. Airtini seems to be a good resource for you two. But I sense that beneath your frustration you are accepting this challenge. ARKANSAS OR BUST!
P.S.Someday I will tell you of my boyhood experience traveling with my parents and brother on RTE 66. The year, 1952; the ocassion, moving from Mich to Ca; Transportation 1948 Nash towing our home, a 26' travel trailer. In some ways I believe the pioneers had it easier.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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2014 23' FB International
Currently Looking...
Wilton , California
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I'm blaming it all on the squirrel...
"Old fashioned service on your late model Airstream"
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:54 AM   #14
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1978 31' Excella 500
Genoa , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,318
Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
...I am keeping my eye on the alternator - as some may know, Kimber and I do not have good alternator karma. We have been through 5 on the Hummer. Well, kimber heard something last night when we were filling up so I popped the engine cover to give a listen. At idle, the alternator has a dry bearing kind of sound that goes away as RPMs go up. I'm just saying......
Regulator. Voltage regulator could do that to your batteries and your alternator. Now how it does it to the Hummer, hmm.

Our fav artist is on his way an hour ago, heading into the wind. Cross wind, supposed to be 120 mph over the top of the Sierra's, and where's he going with the square box TV pulling his airodynamic twinkie? Parallel to the top of the Sierras.

I admit to being powerless over housecleaning and social niceities
Airforums 22655 and now, WBCCI 22655

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