Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We All Go In for Maintenance

At home in Fort Worth...

One thing is for sure:  We become more like used cars when we get older.  Like old autos, we tend to need more and more maintenance in order to keep going as we pack on the miles. And so it is for this week; Sandy and I have a slew of medical and dental appointments. Yesterday involved a trip to our dermatologist, Dr. Crawford, who just happens to be Tony Romo's father-in-law.  So Sandy and I knew about the arrival of Tony's new baby, Rivers, before it became known via the local TV news.  That's about as close a brush with famous people we'll ever have, I guess.

We have several other appointments throughout the week which we've scheduled close together during our brief stay at home before we head to Kerrville on Saturday and then to San Antonio a week later.  

Phannie even got into the act by visiting Holt Caterpillar Tuesday morning for a first valve adjustment on her Cat C7 diesel engine. Caterpillar recommends this adjustment at around 30,000 miles and again at 100,000, so I made the appointment at their service center in west Fort Worth. I also asked them to check the radiator and intercooler to see if these were in need of cleaning.  The valve adjustment took a couple of hours, and the radiator and intercooler were checked and found to be clean, which I expected, as there had been no indication of a cooling problem, and I don't even drive Phannie on wet roads if I can help it.

Phannie Awaits Door Opening at Holt Cat

Phannie is the only motor home in Holt's shop on this day.

Phannie's engine with valve cover removed; I just know she feels so exposed!

The performance of this engine has been flawless so far, but I do baby it and make sure that it is maintained faithfully according to Caterpillar's service schedule.

When I returned home with Phannie, I extended the slides and Sandy came aboard to begin preparations for our departure to Kerrville. This mainly involved fresh bed and bath linens and the beginning of Sandy's usual teeth-gnashing ordeal in deciding what her wardrobe mix will be. She has the hardest time with this when we are between seasons as we are now. No matter what she selects, you can be sure she will have more than enough outfits for every change in the weather. She hates it when I point out that I, too, always have what I need in my measly one-third of the closet.

She has always been fastidious with bedmaking (thank God, as I hate it!), and we are both rather picky when it comes to the mattresses and pillows we like. We saw to it that we wouldn't have to endure a less comfortable bed in the coach by duplicating exactly the mattress and pillows we use in our house (Serta i-Comfort King with down pillows).  As a result, we cannot tell any difference between the two and sleep very comfortably in both places.

We also duplicate in Phannie all of our toiletries and all of our cooking basics and spices in order to lessen the need for extra trips out to the coach before launching. We also keep some basic canned goods in the pantry, knowing that we can buy whatever else we need when we reach our destination.  

On the day before departure, I will check the tire pressures, fill the fresh water tank, turn on the refrigerator and wash the windshield. All that is left then on departure day is to take any refrigerated items from the house and load a few odds and ends.

So, after Mae gets hooked up on Saturday morning, I will enter Buckhorn RV Resort into the GPS, and we will be on our way. Hope we see some bluebonnets!  


  1. your preparations sound very much like ours except on a smaller scale of course!..we too like things just like at it pillows and quilts etc!!
    enjoy your trip to Buckhorn..seems to me I remember 'someone else' staying there too!!

  2. You are so organized. It will be so fun for you to be back on the road especially after all that doctor stuff.

  3. Ahh, the joys of fulltime motorhome travel and living. We have all our clothing with us. No food to carry from house to coach. I know, I know, you love your home too. Just wanted to tease you just a bit. Have a great journey. We loved S.A. and some of the back roads we traveled. I guess they are actually called farm to market roads. That sounds sooo Texas!

  4. Interesting the vale adjustment schedule for your C-7 Cat. The manual for my 2006 C-7 states a first valve adjustment between 30-40K miles and then again at 100K. Maybe you might want to recheck the maintenance schedule, no sense in paying big bucks for something that may not be needed. ;c)

  5. Oops; you're right, Paul. I should not have relied on my memory when I wrote that. I've corrected the post. Thank you!


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