Wednesday, February 7, 2007

In for post-puddle repairs.

We are at All Coach and Truck Repair, a bus garage in Phoenix (map). We had an uneventful drive up from Beaudry in Tucson, with stops to fill the fuel tank (the Flying J in Eloy had the cheapest fuel we will see until we leave California in April) and stock up on groceries.

Barry from All Coach took a look at the exhaust, and seems confident they can repair the damage in short order. They also have a Pro-Link, and we will have them re-enable our VSS to see if my repairs in Tucson will have fixed that problem. And, while we're at it, we will have them look at our front-end shimmy and maybe the hubs as well.

I rerouted at least part of the TPS sensor return wire while we were in Tucson, and we experienced no throttle drop-out on the drive up, so I am hopeful we have that problem licked. (It was intermittent, so there is really no telling.) I also rebuilt the left front ride-height valve while we were there, which was leaking, and that seems to have done the trick.

We are in the lot for the night, among a fleet of Prevost tour coaches that operate out of this location. A limo company also shares the lot, with a fleet of super-stretch Hummer H2's. They will start on us tomorrow morning at 7am (ugh).

After the exhaust "incident," I posted a request for shop recommendations on a couple of the bus conversion bulletin boards, which is how we ended up here (thanks, Sammy!). These boards are great resources, and I spent a lot of time there while we were converting Odyssey. That being said, my post prompted a flurry of criticism for taking our coach on dirt roads and fording streams.

To which I say: pound sand. We didn't build this thing so that we could see an endless ribbon of Interstate, countless Wal-Mart parking lots, and a stream of identical cheek-by-jowl RV parks with a panorama of Fleetwoods and Winnebagos as far as the eye can see (no offense meant to those who drive either of those brands). We built it to see the entire country, much of which is not accessible via paved roads.

Now, one could argue that we should have started with something more off-road-worthy, such as the Oshkosh airport crash tender that was the foundation for Draco, the vehicle whose picture Louise posted here a week ago. But everything is a compromise, and we chose a coach that had the interior space and physical layout that suited our full-timing needs, understanding that it would place some strict limits on where we could venture.

Part of the compromise that we made was knowing that we would take Odyssey wherever she could physically go, and that there would be a price to pay for that in wear and tear (and, sometimes, towing).

I guess this sums it up:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO! -- Bill McKenna

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