Friday, November 23, 2007

Broke Down Engine...

(with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Back to "normal"...

I've gotten so accustomed to being in Redding, that it's almost like a second home to me.

After a week of dealing with engine problems on BABs (my motorhome), I'm finally back in Redding, at Rover Hybrids, awaiting completion of the veggie conversion on the Land Rover so we can begin converting the motorhome.

So, here's the brief story of what happened after I left Tucson:

After a long drive from Tucson, I spent last Thursday night at Mono Lake Park. (I prefer to drive during the day, so as to avoid any chances of hitting deer, rabbits, coyote, etc. while driving at night.) Friday morning, I had engine problems. The symptoms pointed to the fuel system, but I didn't have the tools, nor the knowledge, to attempt the repair myself, so I called a tow truck. The first truck that AAA sent me was too small, so I had to call another truck. The bigger truck wouldn't be available until the next morning, so I spent another night at the park.

Fortunately, during this time, I had plenty of heat, water and food, so I was comfortable, if not happy, during my breakdown.

On Saturday, I arranged a tow with a bigger truck, who wasn't able to reach me until midday. They towed me to the nearest authorized service center, which happened to be two hours away in Sparks, Nevada. We arrived well after dark.

It being a weekend, the service center was closed, so I stayed in my motorhome in their parking lot until they opened on Monday. I still had some food and water on board, but was running low. Thank goodness for the Mexican restaurant across the street!

Monday, the service center replaced a filthy fuel filter and sent me on my way with a working engine! Two hours later, on two-lane Highway 44, in the middle of Lassen National Forest, I broke down again... with the same symptoms as before. It was already dark, so I spent the night on the dirt shoulder of the highway. The temperature got down below 30F at night, but I had propane for heat and food to last a couple of days, so I was comfortable.

The next day, a Tuesday, after removing and cleaning the fuel filter myself (yes, my fingers were numb in the cold), I called for a tow truck and they hauled me the two hours to a service center in Redding. I spent the night in their parking lot, and they got to work on the problem the next morning. Their solution was a bad fuel pump, which they replaced, and the motor has been running fine since. I got back to Rover Hybrids Wednesday night, tired and almost out of supplies, but back "home" nonetheless.

Today, I'm going to drain some fuel from my tank to see if there is any debris in there that could be causing the clogged filter and failure of the fuel pump, then take BABs in for her regular scheduled service on Monday.

This whole time, I didn't get any work done due to being on the phone arranging tows, making appointments at service centers, and being out of cel service or in a garage bay where I can't get a satellite signal. I was, essentially, in a sort of minor "survival" mode. You know... first things first... Get the problem solved, then move on. Well, the problem is solved, and now I can move on. The website will be ready soon, the Land Rover will be ready soon, and I'll be a happy camper once again.


stasia said...

So, what did Shane end up doing to your motorhome? I have not talked to him in quite a while... wondering how it came together.

I find your quest fascinating. Wish I were there.

Holt Webb said...

The veggie conversion on the Land Rover and the conversion on the motor home have not yet been completed.

Though we did take the Rover out for a test drive, there is still a bit of work left to do.

And, the motorhome hasn't been touched yet. The fuel tanks have been made, but that is the extent of the conversion so far. When the Rover is complete, Shane will begin work on the motorhome. He expects it to take 2 weeks.