Tuesday, March 29, 2005

We are once again at Laguna Seca (map). We finally made it out of the bay area yesterday morning, after having the alignment done at Ross Equipment in San Jose. By the time we got moving, it was already after noon. Fuel and grocery stops in Salinas ate up part of the afternoon, and by the time we were on the Monterey peninsula, we decided to stop here rather than take a chance on arriving further south at sunset, only to find no suitable spaces for us.

I should mention here that highway 1 has reopened, and we will be taking the coast route down to San Luis Obispo. We will likely get back on the road again early this afternoon. I need to spend the morning editing photos for an upcoming magazine article. Odyssey will be the "centerfold" of next month's Bus Conversions magazine (yes, there really is a publication dedicated to this), and I need to get the photos over to the editor today. I sent the text of the article late last night.

The alignment process yesterday morning turned out to be unnecessary, as both the steer and tag axles were nearly dead-on already. Which made the fact that Doug Ross smacked the front end against the driveway all the more distressing. He whacked the very same left-front corner that I just paid Coach Specialties $700 to repair. This damage is much less visible, but the fiberglass is again cracked, the mounting holes are damaged, and the bottom is scraped. I got him to knock $80 off the aligment, but I'm still fuming about it (and considering filing a claim with his insurance).

While the technician was under the coach adjusting the tag axle alignment, he discovered a bent steering damper. This is similar to a shock absorber, mounted horizontally, to damp the movement of the steerable tag (preventing that annoying shopping-cart-wheel syndrome). The damper is creased about an inch from the end. There is no way this could happen from hitting something under way, so either someone tried to jack the coach under the damper, or the coach landed on the damper when being lowered from a jack. Hard to tell when this happened, but I am thinking perhaps when the coach fell off the jack (yes, you read that right) while a tire was being changed in Pittsburgh.

The bent damper is restricting the range of motion of the tag steering, so we need to get it replaced ASAP.

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