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The Temperatures Drop in SE Texas

Friday was a raw day outside. The high temp of the day was suppoosed to be 34 degrees and the wind was ripping out of the north at a steady 10-15mph.  I took advantage of the frozen ground to get out and do some prep work for the upcoming cold temperatures before the sun turned it all to mud again.  I had several things to get done on both the recreational vehicle (aka Old Girl aka Fish Bus) and the equipment on site.

First order of business was to fire up all the diesels and let them run for awhile.  Most had not been started since I left here on November 30th last year.  We try to keep fresh batteries in all the equipment and because of that, I only had to jump start one of piece of equipment. I also decided to start the 5.9 liter Cummins in the Old Girl. Normally, I do not exercise the Cummins when I am parked. Some people do but after doing some research, I decided it might do more harm than good generally speaking. Sitting still, the engine never gets up to operating temperature and does not lubricate itself properly. If I could I would drive the Fish Bus for 30 minutes every 30 days but that is not feasible. I was a little concerned about the motor home starting. I had not started it in 11 months and you just don’t know what is going to happen. I do keep the chassis battery connected to a Battery Tender Plus 12V Battery Charger at all times. Amazon has them for about $44 which is a darned good price. Just click the link to go there.

This is an indispensable piece of equipment as far as I am concerned. My chassis battery is an Optima Yellow Top which cost over $300 new. A dead battery is an inconvenience plus it will ruin a battery. You can cycle the battery down to about 11.8 volts and recharge it over and over. But, if a battery is fully discharged it will eventually ruin it.

The Old Girl fired right up after about 10 seconds of cranking. I was pretty tickled! I wedged the accelerator and brought the Cummins up to 1300rpm and left it there for 30 minutes. At the end of that time, the water and oil temps had come up nicely and I felt confident that this little round of exercise had been a good thing.

The other thing I had to do was check my Suburban furnace.

The guts of my Suburban furnace

It had developed a “ticking” noise when the squirrel cage fan was running. The first year I had the Old Girl I had no clue regarding the problems dirt dauber wasps could cause in an RV. They build their little mud nests in every nook and cranny. I found that out later that first year when I started up the furnace it sounded like the whole world was coming apart. Come to find out, I had a dirt dauber nest on the squirrel cage fan in the furnace. Had to take that sucker all the way out to fix it. Now I screen all the openings to keep those flying pests out. I discovered a pine needle up against the fan this go round; that was what was causing the “ticking” noise. I am sure it would have not caused a problem and it was nice to get the problem fixed so simply.

I finished everything up right about dark thirty. The temperature had dropped to 30 degrees by that time.

External 40lb tanks connected to my Extend A Stay

I checked the external propane tanks one more time before going inside. If I had to pick one RV add on that was the most important to me it would be the Marshall Brass Deluxe Extend A Stay.  I have two of them as a matter of fact!   Could you imagine having to break camp to go into town to refill the propane tank on the Fish Bus?  I certainly can’t!   When it is muddy here I don’t even know if I could get the Old Girl out of the parking spot.

I was just looking at the picture of my external tanks and noticed the black streaks and rust marks.  I guess that is pretty unnerving to all of you folks who obsess about the appearance of your recreational vehicle.  Heck, I don’t like it either!  The problem is that every drop of water here is precious and washing the Old Girl is just out of the question.

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