ON THE ROAD AGAIN
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Sorry! NICE BEAVER!!It comes back with new fuel filter, a complete new air filter, and lo, the bar is in! Next mission is
Cotopaxi in Colorado and the first leg is via I17/I40/I25 up to Trinidad in Co, for yet another
Walmart night stop. Why Walmart you ask?…. very simple, RV parks may have all the amenities
but with a coach this size so do we! Secondly a 60′ long rig takes a lot of manoevring after a 700
mile leg and I for one am quite happy to have the entire Walmart parking area to turn round in
and enjoy their lighting.
An uneventful run and day 2 we set off for the double nighter up a mountain in Colorado. The
road in is very scenic as we wend our way down the Arkansas river and arrive for the uphill
section into Tucker Ranch our destination and location of the Rocky Mountain 2 Day Trial.
The uphill section is slow and steep and we find the dirt turn off without the problems of having
to turn round. The way in causes the co-pilot to throw a wobbly as the bridge and helmsman are
full locking in both directions to stay on the narrow and bendy track. At one point the trailer
wheels were over the inside edge but warp power slid the underside along until the track was
Tucker Ranch Cotopaxi Co
The event was a lot of fun, Doof enjoying some free running, and me in a two day event and
getting to know the Tiger Cub. Brenda, however was not having fun as her little bike was
inexplicably playing up and somewhat gutless.
Section1 Cotopaxi Sunday
Sunday afternoon and we regain the road after negotiating the single track mountain path back
to civilization. Decision is to come home cross country as its 250 miles shorter and come over
Wolf Creek Pass and night stop in Durrango Walmart. A great run and very little traffic anywhere
and we make good time arriving in Durrango at around 8 pm.
Wolf Creek Pass and Bighorn Sheep
Monday morning just 450 back to home on familiar roads so this will be a breeze. We leave
Durrango and there are a few snow flurries, but hey, it’s still winter up here and we are in ski
country even though it’s late April. Out of Cortez and onto the Reservation and all is well but
approaching Kayenta it’s looking dark and grey up ahead.
Oh, Oh! Kayenta AZ in late April ?
Over the lights at Kayenta and then the road narrows through some cuts and at this point it
starts snowing heavily and the road is completely covered. Well you know by now whats coming
….. yes, a few of the familiar der…der der.. then DWANG! another salutation from the wiper and
the other one stops in sympathy. Within a minute the entire windsheild is covered and we slow
to a stop and search frantically for the hazard warners to no avail. Now who in there right mind
would hide them??? You would think that with every which way switch on the wheel you would
have an EMERGENCY thing easily coming to hand. Not so, at it must have taken another full
minute to find them. Know your Bus!
This is NOT Funny!
Brenda dresses for her space walk and departs the air lock and gingerly removes snow from the
sheild as more and more of the stuff comes down. Amazingly the wipers haven’t blown the fuse
and she replaces them and they work. Now with the weight of snow on them they stay on the
screen and we gingerly proceed through the storm.
20 miles later we emerge into a clear air mass and drivers coming the other way can’t believe
what they are seeing as superbus hurtles towards them with chunks of snow and ice flying off
all surfaces like the space shuttle throwing heat tiles!
No more really bad weather but back at the ranch Monaco have another earfull to deal with and
they eventually say there is a “mod” and they will send us the part. It duly arrives and I fit it
although from an engineering point I can’t see any major difference to the part I have just taken
off. Never mind, they should know their stuff.
Two weeks later back up to Milliken Colorado and this time it’s exceedingly windy and as we
career along I40 against the crosswind the driver’s mirror starts moving, initially I can control it
but eventually I can see nothing and we are forced to stop and adjust. More calls to Monaco but
can’t understand what they are talking about. Finally after 2 more stops a bit of a cigarette
packet is shoved in the gap and secured by that well known all american silver tape. Really
impressive on a 1/2 million dollar bus! At Milliken I find the way into the system and all is secured
for the run home. Yet another fridge unloading during a left turn and I also fix that by drilling
through the top of the fridge doors and secure it with a pop pin as the crumby piece of plastic
is now weak and just flips off under the slightest load.
The New Trailer
Now it’s summer and Donner is next in mid July. It gets so hot that the ac cb’s keep flipping off
so, once more Monaco enter the loop and send us new ones despite the fact that Brenda bought
some locally.The new trailer arrives and the lights work, but the spare wheel is a real lash-up.
Leave more or less on time with a first leg to Mina Nevada, a mere 580 miles and tonight we will
be in a RV park. On the way to Kingman as we were entering the Joshua Tree area I casually
remarked “Do you know this is the first time this week that I have sat down without sweat
dribbling off my nose or running down my back?”
The heavens open and the big finger points down and with that the Generator shuts down!
Yes it will restart but shuts down with an overheat caption after 5 minutes. More frantic reading
from the library and phone calls to various Onan dealers on the route. Stop at a truck stop to
see if there is anything immediately obvious and top off coolant and oil just in case. Pull into an
Onan dealer at Kingman and now with the temp up at 115 degrees wait for the one toothed
mechanic to finish his icecream. He informs me that it’s an overheat problem! Yes, I know thanks!
No, he can’t fix these new fangled thingeys, try Cummings at Las Vegas. They “might” be able to
get to it tomorrow or not. Try Cummings at Reno, “Just drop it off and we’ll have a look at it”
“Excuse me this thing is about the size of a small pick up truck and it’s part of the bus!”
Well the decision is press on as Donner itself will be 70 by day and 40 overnight and we do have
50 amp at Mina. So with Brenda armed with her mister and wet towels for everyone the wet and
bedraggled dogs and myself are continually hosed down as we cross the empty and ‘king hot
We arrive in Mina and it’s only 112! never, never has AC felt so good! 50 orgasmic amps rush
through the bus and cool the crew. The following day we reluctantly break camp and make it to
Donner Ski ranch where the temperature is a little more comfortable. Brenda has made some new
friends on the RV forum and they join us mid afternoon.
Without a generator and with a lot of partying the starship is running low on dilithium crystals
and the following morning Brenda starts the main engines and for some reason you would have
thought we were doing engine runs on a Rolls Royce Spey with afterburner! Some of our
motorcycling neighbours start behaving like school children and then without listening to reason
change their position in the parking lot….. strange people?
Donner Ski Ranch at the back of the Lodge
After a weekend out of Robin Williams’ RV with the “friendly family” who have tried to repair
everything on our bus, including a leak under the sink, providing aux power we couldn’t use, and
an awful lot of advice on living and the world in general, we leave and head back to 50 amps at
Mina NV. Only way is to leave and take the punishment on the chin and make it as far as we can
before we melt. All well until the duty inspection nonsense going over the Hoover when the
Inspectors board the coach and also melt! Finally we are home, wet and hot!
Cummings take the bus and tell me it’s the fan belt and we couldn’t have changed it anyway,
and there is a retro fit to do away with the 2 belt system and fit an idler pulley and serpentine
belt…… and it’s ALL covered under WARRANTY!!!
We take the bus to RV Rennovators in Mesa, and boy these people are good, and by now there
are several annoying small things that need fixing. The dump pumps are not doing all that they
should, there is the leak under the sink and the water flow on 2 galls/minute is a pain unless you
are filling at home. Also the drivers screen doesn’t always come up when the power is on. Well
“supertech” shows me the screen technique which blows me away ……. take a unbent paperclip
or any small device and push on the small red led light?????? and up comes the screen!
NOT COVERED IN THE HANDBOOK!
Halfway through the season and Chehalis next, a long, long way but they tell me you just have
to do it. First night back in Mina NV and meet the “toothless ones” and a clown who has just shot
himself! Not to worry it’s the third time he’s done it. During a dumping session at the RV park one
tank dumps and the lights don’t come on for the other and they seem to be for the wrong tank?
Well maybe it was the wine?
Let’s Go, I’m Thirsty
Another nightstop at Walmart Eugene after a long detour thanks to the navigation system,
definitely the road less travelled! 2 nights at Chehalis and another 20 points in the bag and now
a 350 mile drive to Medford to see Brenda’s son, Phill. Sunday morning and time to dump tanks
and nothing! Another phone call to Monaco and after going from one side of the coach to the
other on a “treasure hunt” to find the manual tank valves while holding the phone and trying to
get tech support to describe what I’m looking for. Eventually after playing “the what’s it look like”
game I find 2 flat black things with an allen key in a holder. They have a reverse thread! but I get
them opened and all is well and we are dumped and pumped. Back to the other side of the coach
and the lights have come on! Don’t ask it’s a RV.
The run home is uneventful and our next outing is Casper Wyoming at the end of the month
…….TO BE CONTINUED
TONY & BRENDA
Don’t forget the ARCHIVES for the other 100+ articles.
If you rode at AZ Cycle Park at the AHRMA National photos are up on Brenda’s
web www.trialsphoto.com or use the link on the top left of the site. Some
Great pictures of Section 10