Paso Robles recap

The weekend started out uneventful. We setup the trailer to go to Paso Robles on Friday. Took our time, brought stuff from the house, chasing cats out of the trailer and finally on the road. We stopped in Hanford for lunch and I checked the trailer tires for any hot ones, as I always do. One was warmer than the rest. I saw the tread was bulging out all round the tire. I have already replaced a trailer on highway 41 in 104 degree heat and I did not want to do anything close to that this time. We stopped at Carrol’s tires in Hanford and got new one (~$94).

We made it to Wine Country RV around 2pm and setup the trailer. We went around and met people from our San Joaquin unit and the Central Coast unit. We then returned to the trailer for a bit to unwind. That evening we went to eat in Paso and went to Good Ol’ Burgers. We have been there many times over the years and have always enjoyed it. Their onion rings are outrageous:

Coincidentally our son was also in Paso visiting a friend and they joined us there that evening.

We went back to the trailer and opened the door and something ran out of the door!! It was one of our cats that had stowed away! Now what do we do? Damn cat! Down to WalMart to get food, cat box, litter. That put a damper on things for me. Roxie thought it was hilarious. All in all the cat did not do too bad. The pathetic part was that we actually looked in the trailer for that cat before we left. Grrrr…

Saturday we wanted to go see the Airstreams at Sky River RV, and I was also looking for a 12V lamp for the oven. I went to the parts at Sky River and asked about the bulb. They didn’t have one. I also asked him about the Airstreams as there were NONE on the lot. He told me they move them to a lot in San Luis Obispo. We had nothing else to do and didn’t know what to do for lunch so it was off to SLO!

We went to the new Airstream lot and looked around. We do want to get another Airstream in about 4 years but will always look when we get a chance. They had numerous models but we really liked the 27FB Classic and the 30′ Classic. We will see how it goes.

One thing we like to do when we go to Pismo Beach is Roxie eats clam chowder at Splash Cafe and I eat tri-tip at Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ. Luckily they have them in SLO also so Roxie picked up her bread bowl with clam chowder and we both went to Mo’s. I love the garlic fries but not so much with Roxie due to how long they remain. That evening we went to a chinese buffet with the WBCCI units (17 people).

Sunday morning had a meeting regarding the state of the WBCCI and what can be done to help it out. Essentially it is dying. They are not getting younger people attracted to the club. Joe tenBerge, Region 12 2nd vice president, was there to talk about the subject. I told him about Airforums and there were many discussions about the WBCCI there. He said he has seen them but they were very negative. Well sometimes you have to swallow the negative to learn things. He said he would look around there. I was surprised how many from OUR unit have never heard of Airforums OR Airstream Life magazine. I need to educate them.

We had a lunch of tri-tip sandwiches with the units and then in the PM, ice cream sundaes. That evening we saw a couple of trailers from the Airforums Western Womens rally but did not meet any of them. Monday was the trip home.

We are thinking about going to the Bass Lake rally in April and/or a rally in Tehachapi in May. We will see.

Finally, some life!

Yes, it has been a while since I have posted or we have planned to go somewhere. Both are happening now!

We are going to Paso Robles this weekend with our WBCCI unit, and another one for a joint rally. It will be held at Wine Country RV. We are using this as a great excuse to get out with the trailer. We like Paso since it is pretty close to us and we are familiar with the town (lots to do). We also have not been out with our WBCCI unit for about 3 years and we can reconnect with some of them.

Just because we have not had the trailer out does not mean it has been quiet in our RV life. The tow vehicle, our F250, has given us some grief. You may remember the problems we had with it on our Albuquerque trip and the transmission issue. About 1 month after the trip the truck started surging at idle and it threw a code. The code was for an ICP (Injection Control Pressure) valve. As this was happening, I had the batteries run down to the point where it just had that clicking sound when starting. Once I got the batteries charged, the truck started running rough and threw another code!

Wow! Two at once! The code mentioned something about an injector had low pressure. I know that injector repairs are EXPENSIVE! I decided to attack the ICP problem first. A trip to Ford and about $200 later, that was fixed. But the truck still was running rough. I lived with it for a few more weeks. Now it was time to take it to a local diesel shop.

The first thing they saw was the batteries were very low and were not holding a good charge. Diesels are very hard on batteries, hence the reason for two in our truck. They need a minimum voltage to start correctly. These were having problems with voltage and they recommended I get them replaced. I still had 1 month left on the full Diehard replacement so I hauled them both to Sears.

Their tests concluded the batteries were fine, naturally. I tried to convey the information, from the diesel shop, that batteries in diesels are under a different set of requirements and the standard automobile load test is not pertinent. After a day or two of ‘discussion’ the Sears manager was willing to warranty replace one battery but I had to purchase the other outright. I can live with that.

I took the batteries back to the diesel shop. They installed them and started looking for the injector problem. It was gone, it cleared up after the new batteries were installed. We deduced that the fuel injection control module (FICM) is very susceptible to low voltage but once the fresh batteries were put in, it relearned its program. Fantastic! Plus the shop only charged me two hours for easily four hours of their time.

So was that it? No! Next I started hearing a squeal when the A/C compressor would kick in (defroster). I wasn’t sure if the belt was just slipping (preferable) or was the bearing going out on the compressor (oh no!). It turned out it was the belt tensioner. It was fixed in place and not movable, as it should be. Hurray, another repair! The tensioner’s are pretty pricey, about $180!! So we replaced the belt at the same time, it was due at 90K miles.

The truck seems to be running good now (knocking on wood – my head) so we will test it out on this trip.

Our extended warranty expired in August around the same time we paid the truck off. It seems that the truck knew the warranty expired. However all of these repairs did not reach what our payment used to be so we are still ahead of things. I am just curious if the people that determine these warranties are the same ones that make the actuarial tables for life insurance?

I will post about the rally after we are back, maybe even during.