Today was the day we would finally get our coach back and be back on the road.
We had a breakfast of coffee and muffins at the hotel about 8:30. OK muffin. Bad coffee, BAD.
Then about 10am I took a load of stuff from the hotel room back to the rig and checked in with the repairs. Found out our new exhaust manifold had not come yet, but was expected shortly.
Getting back to the hotel I asked the front desk if we could stay a couple of hours past checkout time and they said ‘no problem”. About noon Jan and I headed over to Carl’s Jr. for a lunch of burgers and fries. Really good. We’ve always like Carl’s since we first ate at one up in Fairbanks, AK in 2008.
Returning to the shop, I found that the exhaust manifold had finally come in and the tech was hard at work on it, but didn’t think he’d be finished up until between 2 and 3, too late for us to head out for Balmorhea. So it looked like we’d be spending another night in Las Cruces, but this time in our rig.
About 3pm Jan and I headed out on our test drive. We did about 6 miles including a couple of miles on I-10 with no problems. I did notice the increased power on acceleration, and the better working Pac Brake, both a result of replacing the leaky exhaust manifold.
However I did notice a problem with my air pressure. It was varying a lot, and dropping way down at slow speeds. This was not normal. Before I left on my test drive, the tech had mentioned my purge valve was venting air, and I said it seems to do that when it’s been parked for a while. But when we got back from the test drive, it was still venting, wide open apparently. In fact it kept venting after the engine was off until there was no pressure left in the system.
Again, not normal.
While we were on our test drive, I noticed that Coachlight RV Park where we planned to stay was pretty full, so as soon as we got back I called and found out they only had a couple of sites left, so while the tech was looking at the purge valve, I drove the truck over to the RV park and got us a site for the night.
When I got back, the tech had run another coolant pressure test on the engine and again found no problems, or coolant in the oil. Finally, some good news.
He took the purge valve off and tried to clean it, but to no effect, so I told him to just replace it. And few minutes later he came back and said they didn’t have one in stock and would have to order it. I said OK and told him to overnight it.
Then came the bad news. It was too late on a Friday afternoon to get an order in so it would have to be ordered on Monday, and so even overnighted, it wouldn’t get here until Tuesday.
But I didn’t want to head out across West Texas and have the purge valve fail and leave me with locked-up brakes at the side of the road.
The tech then said they might have the complete kit in stock that would include not only the valve but all the filters and parts to basically rebuild the air system. He said the valve by itself was $28, but the kit was $160. I told him let’s go with the kit. Of course he came back a few minutes later and said they didn’t have the kit either.
I told the tech we would wait until Tuesday, and to go ahead and order the full kit and get it fixed right.
At that point I told him I’d check with him Monday afternoon, and with Jan following me in the truck, started to drive the rig to right down the road to Coachlight.
Note, the operative word is “started”. As in the engine would start, but the rig wouldn’t go. The air system would not build up enough pressure to release the brakes. So I tracked down the tech and told him the problem, and after a few minutes of work, he managed to bypass the valve temporarily and get us on our way.
So it now looks like we’ll be here until Tuesday, at least.
A little before 6 Jan and I headed over to El Comedor for another really good meal of Mexican food, That’s one good thing about staying here a few extra days. They’ve got some great Mexican restaurants here, and the way things are going, we might get to eat at all of them.
We got back to the rig about 7 and settled in. We’ve still got some stuff to put away after living in the hotel for 5 days, but it’s good to be home.
Thought for the Day:
"Fathom the Hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured… but not everyone must prove they are a citizen." – Ben Stein
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