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Old 04-12-2003, 11:04 PM   #1
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Murphy's Law Strikes Again and Again . . . . . .

I just returned from picking up my '64 Overlander in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is just under 200 miles from my home, and I encountered three major construction zones on my regular route - - one of which would have been dangerously narrow for towing an RV through so I made a mental note to take an alternate route on return.

Arrived at Ace Fogdall RV at 10:00 a.m. to find my Overlander prepped and ready for pickup. Made my usual trip to the accessory and parts store to pick up a few supplies and pay my bill. All went normally until it came time to hitch up the coach. All of the coach lights worked with one big problem - - no electric trailer brakes (trailer had new umbilical cord three years ago and all new fully loaded backing plates with fully machines brake drums two years ago) no amount of juggling would result in a working connection for the brakes. The Service Manager, Steve Oldani, was on-site and began checking - - as it turned out, the terminal for the trailer brakes on the truck end had nearly corroded through - - 30 minutes and a new Pollack connector put the entire rig in roadworthy condition.

The alternate route was very scenic and took me through such places as Dubuque, Iowa; Kieler, Wisconsin, East Dubuque, IL; Galena, IL - - just to name a few. As I was heading East, the Suburban acted like it was loosing power; my assumption was that it was telling me that I put off its 100,000 mile checkup and tuneup too long so I proceeded. Pulling the 7% grade outside of Galena needed 3/4 throttle and a downshift to second - - never needed to do more than down shift to direct drive before - - as I began to descend the other side of the grade the tuck "chugged" twice and proceeded to have an "under car explosion" - - the catalytic converter evidently was plugging up and the pressure/temperature of climbing/descending the grade did it in - - the catalyst particles evidently plugged the muffler as well as its rear panel was blown off. The truck was still driveable; but the noise was unpleasant at best - - "crossed my fingers" passing through each town that I wouldn't arouse the local authorities due to noise.

The noise from the blown catalytic converter and muffler caused me to miss two different turns (poorly marked county roads - - made this same trip several times as navigator, but this was my first as driver/navigator) - - a trip that should have been 200 miles became 300 plus miles.

Returned home to find that the street in front of my house had been closed and was in the process of being demolished for sewer repairs - - had to approach my parking spot from other than my usual angle - - missed the telephone post but managed to back into the "No Parking" sign on the other side of the driveway - - didn't damage the trailer or sign - - just gave myself a bit of a fright. After puting on a 20-minute show for the neighbors, I finally had the trailer parked where I wanted it.

When unhitching the trailer, discovered two things that could have been quite embarrassing had I been stopped for excessive noise from my tow vehicle. For the first time that I can remember since I have been towing, I failed to properly cross my safety chains. Probably worse than the safety chain issue, I had forgotten to attach my new registration sticker to the license plate - - it was in the console compartment of the Suburban - - but it would have still been a violation of motor vehicle code. I guess that I was lucky that the State Police Officer that followed me for about 12 miles didn't stop me for expired tags if not for excessive noise from the tow vehicle.

My big shock was when I filled up at the Mobil station a short while ago. My normal towing average is 12 MPG - - even with all of the strange problems the average was a little more than 12 MPG. I can't fault the Suburban in any way. It has been one of the most reliable tow vehicles that I have owned; has required the least maintenance on a per/mile basis; and returns the best towing mileage while nearly beating its predecessor in solo mileage at 15 MPG (my K1500 pickup under best possible conditions would get up to 18 MPG; but it normally averaged very close to the Suburban - - the pickup was pre-VORTEC).

Hopefully Murphy will go into hiding for a while. I am planning a solo trip of about 800 miles next weekend.

Kevin:
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Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 04-13-2003, 04:47 AM   #2
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Talking Laughin w/You

Kevin:

Thannks for the alt. route experiences~!

I'm sure we've all had a certain amount of Jersey barriers whiteknuckle time..
BTW, Why haven't they made those things with a escape hole for some poor trapped animal?? Just an observation.

Sounds like you should be a considering a "Diesel" after all that noise ...lol

Share this one with you: References to the license plate.

When I drove to El Paso, TX., to pick up the "Silver Turtle", the PO had made prior arrangement for a TEMP PLATE from NM. (Figure that one out) It was for 5 days, starting on the day of my arrival.
That said, on the day of departure, I put the TEMP PLATE inside of the rear window. For the next 2400 miles(give or take) I drove across the country with (unbeknown to me) no plates displayed as it had slipped down to floor.
So, not only was it not displayed, it was also expired.~! It wasn't until I stopped at a Truck Stop in Pa., that I observed two Pa State Police officers looking my A/S over for quite some minutes.
Finally, they both pulled out and, didn't say anything to me.
Curious abt what was the object of their extented stares, I walked around the back and, had a moment of panic. No TEMP PLATE~!!
I opened the door and, went to the back of the unit looking for it. Found it behind the end of the bed toward the floor. Whew, I was relieved, only to have that dashed when I realized that..."it was expired"~!!
At this point, I was only abt half a day's drive from home. Which, was beginning to look awhole lot longer.
I replaced the plate in the window and, as I was pulling out I looked nervously in all directions.(Thinking here was, they're waiting for me...they do that..right?)
That first trip was made with:
1) No displayed license plate(for how any miles..is anyones guess)
2) It had expired~!
3)No extended mirrors..(never, never again)
4)Solo trip.(Actually, this was a bonus...considering all the mistakes..lol)
5)No road maps, just the 'compass nose'.
6)Angel's wings wrapped around us..
7)Prior towing experiences>?? What is that? lol

Just for the record, the Pa. State Police just went abt their business.

I made it home. Would I do the same thing again? Sure.
Did I have fun? YEAH~
Because I was smiling the whole trip..
I had my A/S~!~

So, thanks again Kevin for the reminder of, what it's all about~!

ciao
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Old 04-13-2003, 07:47 AM   #3
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BTW, Why haven't they made those things with a escape hole for some poor trapped animal??
Any hole or space in the barriers would make a bumper, tire, etc. of a vehicle that got against it hang and get more out out of control.

Kevin

A free flowing exhaust is very important to engine efficiency. If the convertor was so plugged it blew, it is not suprising that the mileage improved. The engine was operating like an air compressor, the blown convertor removed the restriction.

John
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:17 AM   #4
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Thumbs down Respectfully Disagree

74Argosy24MH

Quote:
Any hole or space in the barriers would make a bumper, tire, etc. of a vehicle that got against it hang and get more out out of control.

I respectfully disagree John,..
Any "escape hole" that's that low which you caught your bumper,tire on... then..you shouldn't be driving on the road.

I know that, LOW RIDERS ARE THE "IN THING"...BUT, I've yet to see a RV that rides that low..KWIM??

ciao
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:05 AM   #5
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then..you shouldn't be driving on the road
I can't argue with that, but the next time you are in a construction zone or an area where there are barriers instead of a median look at the tire marks, gouges, and paint on them. You are not only dealing with RVs but every vehicle type in the normal mix of traffic. It doesn't have to be in a low rider. Think about how a large pothole can throw a car. Now imagine grinding down a barrier and hitting a hole in it large enough for an animal to escape. The barriers splay out a lot at the bottom and the hole would have to go to road level. At least the tires will end up hitting the hole.

John
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:53 AM   #6
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Murphy's Law Strikes Again and Again . . . . . .

Murphy's Law was at it again this weekend, but not quite as exasperating as last weekend. The Suburban went in for repairs at my hometown dealer (400 miles from where I live) on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. - - at 5:00 p.m. learned that the fuel injectors that would be required to keep from doing further damage to the pollution controlls couldn't be delivered until 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, and it would take that long to get the necessary re-programming module and wiring harness for the electronic 4WD transfer case. A call at noon on Monday resulted in the news that the Suburban wouldn't be ready until 5:00 p.m. and I would still have a 400 mile drive ahead of me as my vacation ended Monday.

Departed home at 5:30 p.m. with the newly repaired Suburban and had an uneventful trip through 370 miles. Just 30 miles from my current residence what should appear but a DETOUR sign. Not only did the detour take me back in the direction (South) from which I had just traveled - - the detour sign routing traffic back to the West and North must have been knocked over - - after continuing 20 miles South decided to take an unknown country road, in the dark trying to get back to my regular route beyone the segment that was closed due to repairs on the Illinois Central Railroad Crossing. The road was very poorly marked (don't know what I would have done without my mirror mounted compass) and changed from blacktop, to gravel , to sand, to mud, back to blacktop - - 30 miles later after hitting one of the worst pottholes I can remember (I think that it could have swallowed my '78 Horizon) that it sent my littlest Chihuahua sailing into a pile of blankets in the backseat from her usual perch in the passenger bucket.

The good news was that a tire didn't blow when hitting the potthole, and other than being a bit frightened my little Chihuahua survived unscathed. The best news was that my hometown dealer saved me more than $1,000 over the estimate from the dealer nearest my current home (as it turned out the transfer case didn't need rebuilding rather just a new programming module and wiring harness).

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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