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Gypsying Our Way South

I guess I had the Terlingua Time syndrome when they came and picked up our support trailer Thursday afternoon.  I had no urge to pack up and high tail it out of our familiar patch of caliche on the ranch west of Muenster that had been our home for 9 months and 2 weeks.  What was a little boondocking going to hurt?  We had promised our manager at least a week to find another spot for us before we moved south and sitting here was as good as any.  Besides, I had stuff I wanted to do.

There was an EOG trash trailer up on one of the pads that had not been picked up after the work over rig departed.  I intended to do my best to weed out all the dross that had quietly accumulated in corners and crevices over the past year.  The other thing was I had 2 generators that were on the unproven list.  The Generac NP66 up in the snout of the Old Girl had suffered a starter motor failure and I had rebuilt it. It had zero hours since rebuild and was not even running correctly at present.   The MEP generator had 26 hours on it of me fooling around and trying to get 25 year old components back up to speed.

MEP-002A military surplus generator inthe back of a DTB

Generators are entirely necessary for an oil field gate guard. You don’t light up the night off a battery bank, you don’t survive 117 degree heat on a caliche pad via solar power and you can’t afford to feed a propane furnace when the temps are in the teens and the wind is blowing straight down the Red River from the north at 30mph.   I guess the Old Timers were able to survive in that fashion but I know for a fact I just ain’t that tough.

Generators are useless unless they are dependable and the only way you can determine that is to use them in a continuous fashion.  Did you know most of the gensets sold at the Big Box stores are not rated for continuous usage?  Yep, right enough.  They are  engineered for occasional usage.  Most people find out the hard way after running them for days on end during a natural disaster type power outage that many times they are left with junk after as little as a few hundred hours of use.  Then, when they go shopping for a real generator, the prices are just shocking.

So I fired up the MEP, plugged the Old Girl in and walked away with fingers crossed.   It either worked or it didn’t.  The first two nights, I was reluctant to let the MEP run unattended and shut it off at bed time.  The first morning of waking up to a cold RV and having to go outside convinced me I had to get the onboard propane generator running properly. I can start it remotely from the dash board in my drawer tail, turn on all the electric heaters and then go back to bed until things warm up.

It was really a fairly simple matter to get the Generac propane generator tuned in.  Replacement of all the parts necessitated an adjustment to the propane flow to get it running smoothly at 62h. I also replaced the voltage regulator and knew it would need an adjustment as well.  My optimum for no load voltage was 126v.  Holy cats!  I was at 154v output before I made any adjustments!   I was just glad I had a good EMS protecting the electronic and electrical innards of the Old Girl.

All in all, the Generac propane generator ran just a bit short of 24 hours and performed well.   The MEP ran for 72 hours total,  the last 48 of which were continuous run.  A successful test I reckon.

Hooking a DTB to the Old Girl

Monday was the day Miss K and I had committed to heading south.  I had been struggling with the logistics of moving 3 vehicles and 2 trailers several hundred miles south.   Miss K was the voice of reason when she suggested putting PACO in storage in South Dallas and hooking a DTB to the Old Girl and the Suburban.   PACO was convenient and good on gas but not a necessity, we took the PACO car to storage Saturday.  Maybe I can catch my Bro in the Spring flying  around South Texas and hitch a ride on the Cessna to pick it up.

A round of phone calls was made Monday morning, advising the various people we had contacted over the past week regarding gate guarding positions that we were headed south.  I asked all of them to contact us if they came up with a firm assignment.  Final packing and hooking up took a few

Suburban + DTB

hours and we were heading out the gate for the last time.  Miss K was driving the Suburban and DTB/MEP combo.   I was driving the Old Girl and Tuco the Dog quickly settled into her navigator position in the passengers seat.  Our plan was to skirt Ft Worth the the west via Weatherford and Stephenville and then travel US 281 to that San Antone and see what popped up.  We scarcely left the gate when Miss K told me our current supervisor had texted her and she had something for us. A few phone calls back and forth and we were headed for Cleburne, TX instead  of South Texas.  What can I say?  Everything happens for a reason.

We will go on the new gate for 14 days as holiday relief starting Wednesday.  It is a single pad metro industrial setting for Chesapeake. We went over and scoped it out today.  Pretty it ain’t.  That is for sure.  Heck, we can stand anything for 14 days.

 

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7 comments to Gypsying Our Way South

  • It used to be the truck drivers that honked at me. Now it’s the TRAIN
    Engineers. And I must say, their HORNS are Fifty times LOUDER!
    Gee, what’s a girl to do? I know, a Starbucks run……

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  • I just saw a piece on Terlingua on the Texas County Reporter Sunday. Sure made me think of you two!

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    • Andrew

      Hey Deb!

      Was it the one about the guy walking around the perimeter of Texas or the one about Bonnie and Dick Cain?

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  • Andy – It was about a mansion that’s falling down but has two rentable rooms that, apparently, people come from all over the world to stay in. Does that ring a bell? The lady the owns it talked about how it takes special folks to live in Terlingua! 😀

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    • Andrew

      Yep! The Perry Mansion on the hill above the Ghost Town. They call it Upstairs at the Mansion.

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  • Coal

    Andy, you might want to look into a Espar diesel fire heater for your rig, I installed one in my fiver two months ago, works excellant, keeps the rig at a constant temperature and burns .3 liters per hour giving 7000 but of heat.
    consumes very little 12 volt power
    If you want pics and mo detail, send me a email
    coaltruckrepair@gmail.com

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