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Old 09-27-2008, 05:13 PM   #741
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We are at the RV park we intended to stay tonight, at Opelika, Alabama. That's the good news.
The bad news is, one of the brand-new brake magnets shorted out, causing the trailer brakes to be completely inoperative. This at a truck stop on I-75 in Tifton Georgia. After some quality time checking wires, and teaching anyone within earshot a few new words, I finally located the bad magnet, and isolated it from the rest of the brake system. We now have brakes on 3 wheels, much better than 0 wheels. I utilized the jungle telegraph, and reserved a new loaded backing plate assembly from Airstream of Arkansas. Monday morning I'll be lurking at the front door when they open, and Gene has graciously given me permission to perform the replacement on his lot. They open at 8, and with any luck we'll be back on the road by 9:30, unless we get waylaid looking at the new Airstreams on the lot.
The truck did something goofy late this afternoon. The temp gauge swept way up toward "hot" 3 or 4 times, even though the cooling system was full. I'm thinking it is either an electrical issue (gauge or sender) or a thermostat that is at the beginning stages of failing. Most people wouldn't have even noticed it, but I watch the gauges like a hawk.
Something the truck doesn't have is cruise control, I found I have to keep throttling back...
Photo submitted for your amusement, just to prove I don't always practice what I preach...:
I had a 1989 chevy 4.3 V6 that got hot like that. Turned out to be a blown head gasket. Your truck appears a little newer so hopefully it is not that. Good luck in your journey.
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:31 PM   #742
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I had a 1989 chevy 4.3 V6 that got hot like that. Turned out to be a blown head gasket. Your truck appears a little newer so hopefully it is not that. Good luck in your journey.
I'm thinking that is probably not what it is, because after several trips up and down the temperature scale, the gauge stabilized, and didn't twitch after that. I added no coolant, and drove no differently. Of course, anything is possible, especially since we've had this truck a total of 3 weeks.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #743
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Rivet Still on Schedule Then?

Hi Terry,

So you guys are still on schedule to Alumatubeís tomorrow? She emailed me the dinner menu, and it sounds terrific! Looking forward to it.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:20 PM   #744
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Hey Vaughan,

If all goes well they should be tomorrow afternoon sometime. I will let you know when I get an ETA from them.

Thanks for the kudos on the menu!

Susan
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:24 PM   #745
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Hey Vaughan,

If all goes well they should be tomorrow afternoon sometime. I will let you know when I get an ETA from them.

Thanks for the kudos on the menu!

Susan
Thanks Susan,

Iíve eaten your cooking.

Trust me folks, it will be good!
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:31 PM   #746
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Photo submitted for your amusement, just to prove I don't always practice what I preach...:
Did the trailer manage to keep up with you at that speed .
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:45 PM   #747
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Thanks Susan,

Iíve eaten your cooking.

Trust me folks, it will be good!
Geez Suz....we get pancake and Vaughn gets REAL food????

Just kidding. What will Collin do without you from now on?


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Old 09-27-2008, 08:48 PM   #748
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Hey, pancakes ARE real food!

I will really miss seeing Collin. That is one awesome kid! But hopefully we can still meet up at some events.

Susan
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:38 AM   #749
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Susan, and everyone else,

Good morning. It is 5:30am in Opelika Alabama. We are covering 486 miles today, give or take 5, so we should be getting to you about 3 to 5, depending on tailwinds, downhills etc.

I had to really hit the gas pedal a few times yesterday to catch up with Terry. The truck does not seem to know the trailer is behind it with me following. I may start drafting on the trailer.

Everyone have a good day, and we'll let you know how today goes.

Marie
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:05 PM   #750
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Hi,

We are at Susan (Alumutube) Near Little Rock, and Vaughan is also here. He and Terry are outside looking at Bertha and discussing the days events.

Sophie has made her usual impression on everyone'

I'll let Terry fill you in on all that happened today.

Marie
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #751
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Hope you guys have a good dinner at Susan's house.

What's on the menu tonight Suz?

Steve
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:54 PM   #752
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Hope you guys have a good dinner at Susan's house.

What's on the menu tonight Suz?

Steve
Pancakes.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:11 PM   #753
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The hound broke down...

...And left us stranded in downtown Birmingham...
Yesterday I left you with a minor mystery. A couple of times, the temp gauge would jump up toward the upper limit of its travel, usually when the truck downshifted to make it over the top of a hill. This morning, in downtown Birmingham, the problem revealed itself. The truck downshifted to top a hill, and I heard a funny "clunk", followed by the alternator warning light flashing, and the temp gauge rapidly sweeping toward the top of the gauge. Luckily (?), there was an exit there, and I drifted off the Interstate, and muscled the truck and trailer into a gas station parking lot. This is about the time I realized the power brakes work off the power steering (hydroboost), and almost drove through a fence at the back of the gas station before I got everything stopped.
I popped open the hood, and saw that :1- the serpentine belt that drives almost everything on the engine had shredded, 2- because the belt tensioner had chosen that moment to exit its mounting. The "clunk" was the tensioner being jettisoned at high velocity from under the hood. Luckily no one was in the line of fire...
This left us in a (very) bad part of town with a broken truck towing a trailer, with no way out, except fixing it in place.
Marie followed me off the Interstate, and I borrowed the van to run to the nearest parts store, a couple of blocks away. I got the parts I needed, got back to the gas station, and got the new tensioner and belt installed in record time. Total time between breakdown and "on the road again" was less than an hour.
I also found that the truck likes towing the trailer much better than starting it from a dead stop at the bottom of a hill. We went through several small towns today, and every one had at least 4 traffic lights, and at least 3 of those were at the bottom of a sharp hill. Guess which ones we had to stop at. The truck got 8.2 mpg during this time.
Tomorrow we get to visit Gene Morris of Airstream of Arkansas, and take care of our brake problem.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:12 PM   #754
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say terry, this is going to make a great country and western song ;-)

now stop finding excuses to fix things!
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #755
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Special visitors!!!

Whew, it has been one very nice evening! I just can't say how great it was to meet Terry and Marie, and sweet little Sophie! Vaughan and I really enjoyed meeting them and spending about four solid hours talking. Sophie is the cutest thing in person (in dog?) and is very personable.

Here is Terry driving through the yard to be able to back into his spot:
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and backing Bertha into her berth (the LED taillights and backup lights were great but my camera phone washed them out):
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Marie and I were talking inside and I looked out to see what the guys were up to and they were watching Sophie zoom around the yard, closely followed by Nilla... about four times. After that, Nilla sat down and pretended like she was going to grab Sophie every time she whizzed by. The guys looked like the Bobbsey Twins (Vaughan actually had both arms behind his back, too, but moved one as I was taking the pic):
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Nilla decided she was going to help Terry get the water hooked up:
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The awesome folks behind this whole thread:
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All I can say is, if you get a chance to meet up with them as they caravan by, TAKE IT!!! You will not regret it.

Oh, BTW, Steve, the menu was a huge green salad, beef tips on whole-wheat egg noodles, steamed broccoli, large crescent rolls, apricot iced tea and ice cream!

Now to hope the donkey doesn't scare them awake during the night. He's rather loud...

Susan
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:09 PM   #756
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Terry and Marie stopped by here today...what a great couple!

Terry had to do a little brake work on their trailer. I tried to sell them a new
Pan America but just couldn't get it done!

Anyway, I always love meeting the folks from the forum and putting a face with a name and the avitar!

Happy traveling to Terry and Marie! Go West young man Go West!!!!!

G
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:38 PM   #757
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With the years of excellent contribution to the forum, here's the visual I get when reading one of Overlander63's threads!

Good luck on the trail!
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:07 PM   #758
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Good evening,

Uneventful day. Great visit with gene at A/S of arkansas. Nice showroom and people working there. Everyone went out of there weay to make us feel welcome and to be helpfull.
Thanks Gene and crew. And Gene, I like the toy hauler, but I like ours better.

Had a ball with Susan and Vaughn last night. 2 great people, and the food was tasty and delightfull. Good cook.

Sophie sure enjoyed Nilla and DDD. They raced all over the grounds and sniffed each other to thier hearts content.

Slept very well, it was so quiet and peacefull!

We are in Chocqueta (sp)(were carry underwood is from) Oklahoma. Very nice here, breezy and cool..Sure ain't Florida!!!!! We are definately not in Florida any more Toto!

Traffic has not been bad, very little when you compare to Tampa!

Well need to clean up and start getting ready for tomorrow. Everyone have a great evening.

Marie
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:15 PM   #759
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With the years of excellent contribution to the forum, here's the visual I get when reading one of Overlander63's threads!

Good luck on the trail!
Y'all would have really been worried if I'd worn my hat. Looks similar to The Duke's, but in black...
Now, on with the trials and trevails--
We got to Airstream of Arkansas a bit late this morning, because we had a little trouble with Bertha's toilet. Seems the (really) rough roads in Arkansas managed to break the toilet away from the flange. I noticed "that smell" last night, but was too tired to investigate. This morning, I went to use the toilet, and when I sat down, both the toilet and I leaned drunkenly to the left. I hate that Monday morning lean. We got the brake magnet replaced (turned out one of the wires to the magnet had rubbed the brake drum, and finally had worn through.
We're going to stop by Camping World in Oklahoma City tomorrow morning, and with any luck, we'll be able to get a new closet flange so we can use the toilet again. Luckily, we have a spare. We are spending the night in the B van, so we don't have to 1- smell the black tank all night, and 2- run to the campground toilet in the middle of the (cold) night. I have a small extension cord running to Bertha so the board on the fridge doesn't run the coach battery down overnight.
We had a great time last night, every animal at Rancho Alumitube wanted to spend the night with us, and leave with us the next morning (including the neighbor's dog).
It's been a long day, and we're almost 300 miles short of our goal of 500 per day, so we'll be getting up early to try to make up a few miles tomorrow
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:23 PM   #760
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Sounds like Gene took care of you guys. You came short of your target, but I don't think you planned a stop at A of A. BTW, it's Checotah.
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