Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yearly Maintenance Finished; Time to Head North!

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

I suppose it's just as well we were thwarted earlier in the summer in our attempt to get the heck out of Dodge, er, Fort Worth, that is. Bubba's accident and Sandy's neck problems caused us to miss our intended caravan to Colorado. Well, that was then, and this is now. It's been cooler than normal this summer, but it's too danged hot now to stick around here any longer. Sandy is doing better, so we're going to try to find Colorado without Bubba (his coach won't be repaired for a while yet). More on that later.  

I've used the time at home to take care of the annual service on Phannie, including the genset.  It was also time for a 50,000 mile service on Mae, which included service to the transmission. The dealer also took care of some GM recalls against the car. Luckily, the technicians working on all this equipment caught several discrepancies that could easily have given us problems on the road. 

It was time to change the thermostats on Phannie's engine, and the tech at Holt Caterpillar discovered that one of them had failed, having fallen apart as he removed it. During some chassis work, the tech at Motorhomes of Texas found a loose electrical connection that was causing a loss of AC power from the inverter. During the genset service, the Cummins/Onan tech replaced a panel that was missing--one that could possibly have caused the generator to overheat. When servicing the transmission on the HHR, the Chevrolet tech discovered that the fluid reservoir pan was bent and beginning to leak.

So, it's been a fairly expensive few weeks, but I'm very happy that the rolling stock is now in good shape for another year. Perhaps because of my career flying airplanes, I have always been diligent to ensure that whatever I'm flying--or driving, as I am nowadays--is properly maintained on schedule. Perhaps that's why I'm still here, who knows?

A few days ago, I noticed that Phannie's headlight lenses were becoming a little foggy--as plexiglas tends to do after a while when exposed to the sun. So I thought to myself, here's some maintenance that even I might be qualified to do! So, I looked for the plexiglas cleaner and found, unfortunately, that the bottle had dried up. Then I remembered I had read somewhere that toothpaste could be used to clean and polish the lens. Purloining a tube of Colgate from the bathroom, I decided to give it a try. Here's the highly technical procedure, with photos. It took a good bit of scrubbing and the help of a handheld electric buffer, but I think the results speak for themselves:

Pretty neat, huh? 

Because I expended so much energy and brainpower on this project, I decided I was exhausted and that a nap was in order. As I nestled into my recliner, I asked Sandy what day of the week it was. 

"It's Tuesday," she said.

I soon nodded off, thinking about several of my friends, including Bubba, who are still grinding away at their jobs on this Tuesday afternoon while I enjoy a nap. I'm not sure why, but that somehow made me sleep better. 

Well, with all of the maintenance items complete and the sun baking my beloved state, the time has definitely come to find a cooler clime. Tomorrow, we will be heading out, stopping in a few days to see some friends near Colorado Springs and then onward to Rocky Mountain National Park. After that--who knows?  We'll keep you posted.


  1. Vehicle maintenance - check. Headlights - looking fantastic - check. Sandy feeling better - priceless. Safe travels and hopefully some cooler weather for you.

  2. Hum, I also polished our headlights and tail lights Tuesday. Great minds. But I used the 3M system and we are really pleased. I even did our tail lights! Did not take long to accomplish my goal for the day. Then I rested too. lol


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