We call this article the Oregon Trial for a reason. It is usually a let down after being the warm southern states, as the weather is often cool and wet. This year our covered wagon gives us a little lip as well. We learn about snow, diesel and water, The check engine light, and manometers.Athena drove from Spanish Fork Ut. at pace much like a horse would set when headed for the barn. She had planned to rest in Twin Falls, but Ontario looked good, and there is an RV Park in the fairgrounds. All was well and good till we got to the fairgrounds in Ontario, you needed a shorter wagon, or a shrink ray. Twenty five feet was about the max, especially since the sprinkler system runs through the sites and it is a metal above ground thing. I remember Farewell Bend state park on the snake river about 30 miles west, so a little driving and $22.00 solved the problem. River looks a little low this year. Rolling Shoe Box looks rather Dapper in her sight, and a good nights rest is in store. This park is Beautiful and warm.
Headed down Highway 20 to Bend, it looks like our warm luck is about to cool off. The hills are ominous. Now we are receiving a gentle glazing. I hope there is no giant purple people eater behind this! The check engine light popped on with a series of alarms. Alarms are never good, but just got a full tank of B20 (Bio diesel 20%) at Loves truck plaza in Ontario last night before settling down. We should have lots of good fuel, so we will try and get to Sun River and investigate this problem there. We are only about forty miles out. Pretty, hope it is not icy! The septic truck comes to our rescue and dumps a warm liquid substance on the highway to prevent icing. Hope it is safe for steel RV frames Uggh, we have to get in our site and setup in the rain and wet. Athena told me it would be nice and warm when we got back to Oregon. At least one of us thinks so. Waking up the next morning was pretty, but I am not going out there. One could freeze his digits off! Holly sent Athena a gift. Mothers day is wonderful, kids are forced to be good to their parents. Looks like Holly worked overtime being good this year. (Holly, your mom loves this and brags about your work to everyone. It may be the equivalent of an early Monet. Oh yes priority one, make sure the green cans were the source of the propane gas leak. First we look and see what the LPG lines look like. They are made of iron, brass coupling and rubber hose. There are three substances capable of failure, with the loose fittings being the most common followed by compromised rubber tubes. Right now we are doing a visual. We found a worn rubber line just up on the second floor of this rig that rubs when the slide it extended and retracted, but it is ok. After soaping the fittings turning on the LPG we found no visible bubbles and determined the system was not likely leaking. I however do not sleep well with questions about my propane that I cannot prove one way or another. Rolling shoe box is holding out on me! So I borrowed a Manometer from Jerry’s RV service on Hwy 97 business in Bend Oregon. (They are great guys, stop there first for your parts and service needs.) They not only lent me the meter, but they showed me how to use it, and helped me interpret the results.
The manometer looks like a simple blood pressure machine. One end plugs into the cook stove on your RV, the other end you read.
- Remove the burner from the stove and plug it into the stub.
- Turn on the propane for about 30 seconds at the tank.
- Turn on the burner,
- Turn off the propane at the tank.
- Now open another burner letting out some propane until the needle drop about two digits.
- Close the burner and wait 3 minutes.
If the needle fails to drop further, you do not have a leak in the lines. (You cant check for leaks in the appliances with this device. Only soap and a nose will work on those.) If the needle falls, you have to find the source of the leak! My stove is an atwood, had to be connected to the fuel rail at the front of the stove. Notice this is a rubber connector that just slides over the stove’s shaft. If you do the test longer than 5 minutes the gas is likely to slip around this fitting and your needle will drop on the meter indicating a leak in the RV when all we have is leaky meter connection. So remember no more than five minutes per test unless you enjoy breaking into a cold sweat. Start the clock as soon as the gas is bled down to your start position. (Normally 8, but this meter is handicapped and can not go that high.) I set my pressure about 6 Times up The Pressure is good, it must have been the BBQ stuff. No gas smell, and if I ever do smell it, I will make a concerted effort to blame some one else. Hmm, maybe that is why people have dogs. This is our gas alarm, and it did not go off. Upon investigation looking at the bottom left corner we see that it expired in 2010, two years before we purchased Rolling Shoe Box. Who know gas alarms expire? Who knew the dealer would sell us an old one? Moral, examine all your safety devices and replace them before the expiration date. Your life depends on it!The next morning, we were getting ready to head for Farmington Washington, we went to start the engine, but the check engine light was on, the alarms were going off, and the engine just cranked, no sizzle, no steak!
The RV service guy last time we serviced the rig said if that happens, there is water in the diesel and this filter with the spinny thing needed to be located, as it separated water from the diesel, and turns on the check engine light when it has collected water.
Athena got some diesel and water out, but a loud hissing sound manifested it self. So she closed the spout. We then tried to start the engine, it poured our black smoke for a bit, then sputtered and died not to be heard from again for at least a day. WTH! did we kill her off??? We talked to friends and a mechanic up the road, and the consensus was she was starved for fuel and had too much air. We needed to replace both filters both this one and the primary. They said to fill each new filter with diesel before screwing them to the coach. Athena did just that.
Sensor wire for the fuel filter, but the fuel filter came with the wrong shaped connector. Athena had to go to the dumpster and retrieve the old filter and unscrew the black thing from it and put it on the new one. (Save old filter so you do not have to root through the dumpster. People get the wrong idea about what kind of person you are if you are in the dumpster.) After the connections were made and the fuel was added, the check engine light went off and we are on our way to Washington. What a week! Lesson learned from the Bend Mechanic when running a diesel in cold wet weather one should add “Howes Diesel fuel treatment” it prevents gelling and prevents water damage to your engine. If you are running bio diesel in an older engine like mine, its not optional. Who would have thought a 2006 would be considered obsolete by the diesel guys and the EPA.
We are from the Government and were here to help you (bury you car, shut down your farms, and turn off your water), but your air will be cleaner. 🙂 🙂
Have a good evening and good night….