Saturday, August 4, 2007

Back on the road

We are at the Riverside Casino RV Park in Laughlin, Nevada (map). Boondocking options abound in Laughlin, but it was still 105° when we pulled in at 8pm last night, and we opted for 50amps of power to run our air conditioning, which we needed all night. Since we were here, we had a nice dinner in the Prime Rib Room at the casino, which overlooks the Colorado and serves delicious prime rib (or a choice of three other entrées) in a prix-fixe format ($14), including all-you-can-eat salad bar and side items à la casino buffet style (although the resort also has a buffet restaurant elsewhere on the property).

It was not really our intention to bail all the way out of California last night, but we did want to get on the road, and our selected route took us onto I-40 heading east. Well, once over the Cajon Pass the temperatures soared well into the 100's, and Barstow is the last city with any sort of services on 40 until Needles. We didn't want to stop in Barstow in the heat of the afternoon, so we pressed on, and realized that we would have to make at least Needles before we stopped. Needles to Kingman is shorter through Laughlin than on 40 anyway, and more interesting besides, so we decided to press on here for better park rates and more dining options. Now that we're here, though, it feels good to be out of California, where we lived for 20 years, and back on the road.

PEDCO had our engine mostly back together by Thursday afternoon, but we interrupted them briefly to drop the tranny pan and have a look at the magnet and the valve body. We've had a few rough shifts, and it's been seeping fluid ever since we got it. They did find a leaky four-way switch, which they replaced, but there was no metal in the pan, the fluid looked good, and the valve body was perfect. It did cost me eight gallons of TranSynd, though, to refill. This is our second batch of TranSynd, meaning we can now go to the Allison extended drain interval schedule, so this should be our last fluid change ever.

Friday morning they had it all together and fired it up, and we went on a short road test. All was well, so we returned to the shop, checked for leaks, and then loaded up the bikes to head out. When I went to start it, it had trouble cranking, and that turned out to be a fuel pressure switch that, I think, cuts out the starter once fuel pressure comes up. There were no replacements anywhere in LA, so we bypassed the switch for the time being, and headed off to the paint shop.

Oh, did I forget to mention the paint shop? Someone left an engine access panel leaning up against the side of the coach, which by itself was enough to leave some dings, but, worse, it apparently was leaning there when they lowered the bus back down off the lifts, leaving a deep gouge several inches long. Fortunately, almost all the damage was confined to the battery bay door, and PEDCO sent us over to a truck painter in Pico Rivera who had the door touched up in just a couple hours.

During that time we had to be out of the shop, so we had lunch at a burger joint across the street, then wandered in to the Pico Rivera Shopping Mart, and we were instantly teleported to the heart of Mexico -- the place was completely indistinguishable from the mercado which one will find in any Mexican city, right in el centro (downtown). We wandered back to the paint shop to find them finished, and we were on the road by 2:30, just a tad ahead of the traffic.

In a few minutes we will pull up stakes, cross the Colorado and head east to Kingman, where we will take on fuel.

1 comment:

  1. Sean, you didn't say if you found the problem. It would be interesting to see if I might face the same circumstances wtih my bus


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