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Going Nowhere - San Angelo, TX

Trying to get going

Using the better part of judgement, I decided to not attempt a cobbled up fix on the Old Girl Sunday night. Better to wait until Monday AM when it was daylight, the parts stores were open and the engine was cold. With Miss K’s help, I was able to figure out the fuel return line from the pump back to the tank had split. The small split was doing a good job of spewing diesel fuel over a fairly wide area.  It was in a relatively accessible location and the fix oughta be quick and cheap. It goes without saying that I slept like crap Sunday night. Using all of my years of superior RV experience, I had managed to park us right along side of the main entrance of a Wal Mart Superstore. I don’t think the traffic slowed down all night. Asphalt boondocking is what it is and, of course, you get what you pay for.  We really had no choice so I just sucked it up.

I was out and about to O’Reilly’s pretty early.  No big rush as we are not due back in North Texas until Tuesday AM.  I figured I had this one covered.   I needed some more 5/16″ fuel line and a barbed fitting to splice the old to the new.   So off to the auto parts store.   You know, I have really noticed something going on in the parts stores the last few years.  Used to be,  an auto parts store had oil and filters and light bulbs and anti-freeze out on the shelves and if you needed anything that was not basic, you asked one of the guys at the counter. So I went directly to the counter and told the gal what I needed.   I even had a piece of the fuel line hose so she could match it up.  It was too much for her.  ‘Let me check with somebody’ – she disappeared behind a wall.  I could hear a muted conversation going on in the back  and after about 5 minutes she came back to say someone would be with me in a minute.   There were no other  customers in the store and the phone was not ringing.

After about 10 minutes, a third guy came out and said “Can I help you?”  Ok ,  I get it.  We were going to play the ‘start over from square one’ game.  He had the piece of fuel line in his hand.  He disappeared to the back of the store as well and returned in a few minutes with 6′ of fuel line and 2 fittings.  If you are going to be out in the boonies like we are, you buy extra.  Chances are the problem is going to crop up again.  I had been in the store 15 minutes at this point.  I asked the guy — ‘Does that fitting fit tight enough in that line to prevent leaks?’

Diesel coats the radiator of the Old Girl

‘Sure’  he replied without glancing up from the computer.  I took the fitting and slid it into the rubber line as effortlessly as you slide your debit card through that slot thing on  the ATM.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

‘Hose clamps?’ was what I said.

‘Good idea.’ he replied.

I never got impatient or unruly with these folks but the whole 25 minute experience was interesting to me.  3 people and 25 minutes for a transaction that grossed about $25.   How do companies stay in business like that?

The fix itself was uneventful.  Connect the old hose to the new.  Slide it back up on the fuel pump and tighten the clamps.  Have Miss K fire that baby up and check for leaks.  Good to go!

Somewhere along about this time, we lost power from the Generac propane generator and that was odd.  Sometimes a breaker will flip but we had lost all power and the generator was still running.  Odd.  I did the mental flowchart of screwed up mechanical devices and decided to go out and check the Progressive hardwired 30 amp surge protector which is one of the cadillac surge protectors on the market.   Once again, it had saved my butt.   The digital readout showed the generator was putting out 149 volts.  WTF?

It was 92 degrees at 9am in San Angelo and I needed that generator to power the roof airs for the remaining 300 miles of our rv road  trip.  Luckily, this same thing had happened before and I told Miss K as much.  All it took was a quick adjustment of the potentiometer on the generator’s voltage regulator and we were back to reading a steady 126 volts.  I guess the danged thing just loses its’ mind every now and again.    I was feeling smug at this point, for sure.

I had unhooked the Suburban toad to run get the repair parts and decided to fuel up with some of that cheap Wal Mart diesel before we pulled out.  Some of those Murphy Oil stops are pretty tight and this one was no exception.  Just as we were pulling to the pump, the generator quit.  Dead, Fini, Nada. It would not even re-start when  I punched the button on the dash.   This was not good.  I remember thinking at the time – this is liable to be a long day.





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