Sliverleaf and Tuna Noodle Casserole . . .

It was really nice to be able to sleep until after 10 this morning. Even Jan didn’t get up until almost 9:30. We just sat around with our coffee and enjoyed the view out the front windows, and life in general.

Later in the morning I called the Blanford Post Office to confirm that I could get General Delivery there, and then called Terri at My Dakota Address to send our mail out.

Later in the afternoon I helped Jan go through some old magazines. She ended up throwing out over 30 pounds. Less weight, better fuel mileage.

For dinner Jan fixed a great tuna noodle casserole, one of our favorites.

Hey. What can I say? We’re simple folk.

Speaking of fuel mileage, I had a couple of readers ask me how I could figure it so accurately in a previous blog.

The reason is the Silverleaf VMSpc Engine Display.

Silverleaf 2

The Silverleaf VMSpc plugs into the diagnostic port underneath the dashboard and connects to my laptop that sits on the center console when we travel.

In my case I run two programs on the laptop: In the bottom section I’m running Delorme Street Atlas w/GPS. The top section is the Silverleaf display.

The really nice thing about the Silverleaf is you get to design your own panel. You can choose the instruments you want to display, where you want them on the screen, what color they are, and what they say. You can also set alarms so that if, for example, your battery voltage drops below 12 volts, an audible/visible alarm goes off on the screen.

Across the top, left to right, I first have the transmission gear indicator. The left ‘6’ shows what gear is selected on the console. The right one shows what gear the transmission is actually in.

Next, in order, are the tachometer, the turbocharger boost pressure, the instantaneous MPG, and the clock. Down the left side, the first four gauges are alarms for voltage, transmission temperature, water temperature, and oil pressure. Next are numerical gauges for the oil pressure, transmission temp, engine temp, and the total hours on the engine.

Starting from the top of the second column, CSPD shows the Cruise Control Set Speed,  next is the total miles on the coach (it had 62511 miles when we bought it), the miles we’ve put on the coach, and the fuel minder. It shows the miles left on this tank, the remaining fuel in the tank, and the recent MPG.

The next column starts with a speedometer. The neat thing about this is that the Silverleaf program allows me to set a modifier on the speedometer.

The tires (295’s) presently on my coach are bigger than the original 285’s. This means my dashboard speedometer is not correct. It reads 51 mph when I’m doing 55, for instance. But by adding a modifier to the gauge, it displays the correct speed.

Next are the generator hours. This lets me track the generator fuel usage at about 1 gallon of diesel per hour.

Underneath that, the green ball means the Cruise Control is set and engaged. If the ball was yellow, it means it’s not engaged, and a red ball means it’s turned off. Just to the right is the miles since my last oil change/filter etc., service.

Next is a vertical bar graph that gives me a instant picture of my engine performance, and below is the miles we’ve traveled so far this year. We’ll probably do another 2-3000 before we get back to Houston right before Thanksgiving.

The right hand column below the clock shows the battery voltage, the fuel rate, the engine torque, the Max Intake Manifold Temp, and the distance to the next rest area.

Lastly, across the bottom is the miles we’ve traveled so far today, and the miles we’ve traveled so far on this tank of diesel.

This last reading, coupled with the fuel used from the Fuel Minder gauge, gives me a very accurate reading on the MPG on this tank. In this case, we’ve gone 488.2 miles and used 52.5 gallons (150 – 97.5) of diesel. This gives me a average of 9.3 mph.

Driving 55 does save gas. From testing, I know that if I drive 65, my mpg drops to between 7.5 and 8 mpg. This difference in miles per gallon saves me about $1000 a year.

Just a note, the fuel usage is very accurate on the Silverleaf because the program actually counts the pulses in the fuel injectors, You can’t get any better than that.

Another neat feature of the Silverleaf is that if you ever get a Check Engine light, just use the Diagnostic drop-down menu at the top of the screen and it tells you the code AND what the code means.

It may seem like a lot of information, some of it not too useful, but it gives me an ongoing picture of my engine’s performance and let’s me quickly see any changes.

I hope this all makes sense. If you have any questions or comments be sure and let me know.


Thought for the Day:

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." — Frédéric Bastiat



3 Responses

  1. Howdy Greg,

    I’m sure glad Nick didn’t tell his friend’s name in his blog.. He’s a

    real sweet guy like that..

    I WANT A SILVERLEAF FOR MY B-DAY !!! You have the address..

    Does it say what to tell Jan, to get you out of trouble ?? All of that info

    is good to have, if you understand it… I think you should get a com-

    mission for this sales pitch.. It’s the clearest I’ve heard..

    Enjoy that beautiful site and relax real good… You know Celina is


    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Greg,

    I have VMSpc and love the information available. I noticed 2 items on your screen that prompt curiosity. You show “Gen Hrs” and “Next Rest Area”. How is this information available? I’m guessing that the Next Rest Area is somehow tied in with the Delorme Software???

    I Enjoy reading your Blog. Thanks for the Adventures. We will probably include some of these on our return to the East Coast over the next month. We are currently in Glacier and heading to Yellowstone in a couple of days. Hope to get a chance to ride the Beartooth as you did.

    Bob Sanders

  3. Actually those two are ones I set manually.

    The Gen Hrs is just a text box that every time I fill up, I update it with the current Gen Hrs. from the dash gauge. This lets me keep track of generator fuel usage (approx. 1 gal per hour) since it doesn’t get totaled on the VMSpc.

    The Next Rest Area is just a simple odometer. Every time we pass a Rest Area and it has a sign that says “Next Rest Area 50 miles”, I zero the gauge.

    Thanks for reading our blog.


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