Some Downtime

As I wrap up some $ work I’ve been working on, I will now have time to tackle some less important (not $ earning) things. Not that this isn’t a nailbiting time as it always is when a client beats up your work and decides whether or not to give you that final payment ;) We’re FINALLY taking off from Florida in a week so I have to wrap it up here. My hit list for the Foretravel includes changing the transmission fluid and filters as well as repairing the aquahot.

What it said

What it said

Our motorhome has the Allison HD-4060R transmission. This transmission is much like the 3000 series transmission that comes with most diesel pushers but is a little bigger, the filters are larger, and it has a larger fluid capacity. I’ve read conflicting reports of anywhere from 7 to 9 gallons of fluid will come out. The transmission pan sits lower than any other part of the engine so I needed to find a different tub that will fit under the transmission to collect the fluid. Walmart rewarded me with a 10 gallon roughneck tub today that is literally perfect for the job. $6. The cheapest 10 gallon proper oil drain pan is over $100. The Transynd transmission fluid set my wallet on fire at around $40/gallon. For 10 gallons, you can do the math. As for the aquahot, the installation in the Foretravel is err.. Well it’s space efficient but not easy to access. The boiler liquid (which is just regular engine coolant) has a very long hose that runs from the boiler tank cap to a very accessible overflow tank. In order for this system to work there can be no breaks in the line, no cracks in the hose, etc. Otherwise when the system cools, it will draw in air instead of coolant from the overflow tank. This seems to be the case as the level never moves in the overflow. Recently I discovered that when you run a faucet on full hot, you can feel the temperature gradually change from lukewarm to actually hot. The fresh water heating in an aquahot is a copper coil that runs around the coolant tank. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that there is an air pocket in the tank and the fresh water in those sections is not being fully heated. As a result the hot water temperature goes up and down up and down as it switches between the water that was sitting against the air pocket and the hot coolant. So I’ll have to turn off the unit, let it cool, get in there, fill the tank back up, drain the overflow tank a bit (since it is stuck on the full hot level), and then finally find whatever crack exists in the overflow line and repair it.

One of the 3 circulation pumps (ironically the one that has been replaced before) was not functioning a few weeks ago when we exercised it. I’m going to try to beat on it to free it up but it may need replaced. It’s one of those things that is close to $1000 from the aquahot people themselves or $80 if you get the March pump part number and go hunting from the HVAC supply houses.

Like most things involving rv’s (and stick homes) and especially diesel pushers, the world is ready to fleece you if you allow it - but there seems to always be a way around it. I’ve done roughly $7,000 of maintenance so far for a little over $1,000 in materials. Yeah it took some time but it’s not a bad pay rate even compared to IT work. I gain a familiarity with my coach that will help ease my fears of tackling the repair of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere and that’s worth something too.

The other no $ thing I want to hit is this site. When I originally created this site, I wasn’t sure how long we’d be living in an rv full time or if we would at all. I threw it up really quick and dirty like. My primary motivation for building the site to begin with was to play with the time lapse video. A friend of mine did a live feed from one of their trips and I was fascinated by it. Since it seems like it’s not going anywhere, for the first time in my life I’m going to try to not immediately discount my web/graphics design capabilities. I’m going to learn the tools I need to learn and spend the time to make the site really nice. There will be plenty of new features and some of the content will be a lot more intuitive to access. I also came up with some gangbuster ideas for a new site that have been brewing in my head. It’s a bear of a job so I’m still stewing over it and will be for some time before I actually decide to go forth and code. The interesting thing is that counterintuitively the entire idea for the site came from an awesome monetization idea. Usually you come up with a site and then beat your head against the wall figuring out clever ways to make money from it. That seems like a good sign to me.

PS: I’m both excited and scared of the truck fuel islands I will be required to use. They don’t seem to have a consistent procedure as far as pump authorization and I’ve heard the truckers don’t really like RVers. We have 14 tank left of our 200 gallon tank and that means we will be taking on $600 of fuel the first fillup!