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April 30, 1999 - Stockton, CA
Sunday, May 2nd

The Back Home Again page will have the final thoughts of this Spring 1999 trip.

March/April '99 Trip -- Westbound from Dallas, TX.

April 30, 1999 -- Stockton, CA

As it turned out the planned immediate and often update via wireless didn't pan out. Wireless coverage is quite sparse to start with and then problems with the network added up to no service since Dallas until today in CA. Even Bakersfield was having problems.

CDPD wireless coverage worked good on the eastbound leg with coverage in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces and El Paso in addition to excellent coverage in the greater Dallas Ft. Worth area.

Departure from Dallas was routine and a weekend stop at Brownwood State Park in Brownwood Texas made for a relaxing stopover and a chance to clean up the rig some. Also gave a chance to get dishes out of the oven and back into the cupboard clean. In case you're wondering re the oven, mine hasn't worked since day one and it hasn't really been missed so that's where the dirty dishes go. My contribution to water conservation is to stockpile the dishes until cupboard is empty and then bite the bullet as time an conveniences permit. It was my second "bullet" this trip... I may not be able to stretch gasoline but I can sure stretch dishes. Thank goodness for the conveniences of paper and plastic.

Encountered lots of wind coming westbound, both across and head-on. GMC handled it well. Temps got into the nineties so the GenSet was on for most of the 2 days it took to run from Abilene to CA. I stayed at a new campground west of Phoenix for 10 bucks with full hookups. Nice site, newly built. All gravel, but that's what most of the are in the Desert anyway.

AC stayed on all night and when I got into LA the next day I almost froze. It was only in the 60's. Strong winds into Palm Springs on I-10 and also over the Grapevine on I-5. Passed a haywagon that tipped over. Fun, fun, fun.

Alternator and rig overall behaved very well on the westbound trip. It was basically add gas and oil and go.

In Bakersfield I changed the coach power from 2 12volt batteries in parallel to 2 golf cart types in series. Of course the leads wouldn't reach making it a little longer project than anticipated, but I guess I should be used to that by now, i.e. no such thing as little project.

Today the smooth was over as the engine temp went up and no roar of the fan clutch was heard. Nursed it into Stockton with temp reaching 230 briefly. Probably should've stopped sooner, but....

The fan clutch that failed was a NAPA and it lasted only about 4000 miles. I didn't have a GM replacement at the time. Should've changed it to a GM as soon as I had one but I did think/hope that it would last a 'little' longer, i.e. at least until I got home. Oh well...

Tuesday I'm going to head up to Santa Rosa to get the Flowmasters a looking at. Just a check for leaks and an occasional tailpipe rattle.

That's it for now...

Total mileage sofar this trip: 5200 and roughly 1100 to go.

Sunday, May 2nd.

Still hangin' around Stockton... well not exactly hangin' but working some. Weekends is sometimes the only time I can get the computer to myself to run tests, etc. Makes for nice and quiet worktime too.

Raining at the moment, 11:00PM. Got the oil and filter changed today in in-between times. Actually oils and filters... did the GenSet too. Of course I'm 1 or 2 quarts short of Castrol synthetic to get home on. Guess I'll be looking for a Wal-Mart on the way home. I'm going to try and compare oil pressure readings between the Mobil 1 15/50 and Castrol 5/50. I'll have to interpolate and allow for temperatures some but perhaps I'll get an idea on what to stick with.

Thinking about going up Hi-way 101 this time. Am going to stop in Santa Rosa anyway to give the Flowmasters the once over and I may just keep going and do the coast for a change. Triple AAA map planning says only 4 hours difference from Sacramento to Blaine, WA. I usually use Blaine as my final destination as many maps don't go into Canada and I know my way home from Blaine :-)

One think about the rain down here... it sure gets your windows dirty. At least when it rains at home it's clean water.

Some of the new toys that are on their first trip and I really like:

Ragusa Entrance Step

Front Bumper and License Plate Step... also Ragusa.

Bracket/Shelf that sits on top of the headlight just inside door on right side. Holds 3-4 quarts of oil. Another Ragusa.

Bought a "George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine" at Camping World... it makes great steaks with a little trickery added. I like my steaks thick and pink... simply holding the lid down hard for a minute or two sears the steak nicely. Not quite like a charcoal barbie, but close.

Passed a Palm Beach going the other way on Friday but no CB contact. My CB is in for a revamp when I get home. I have the antenna routed in/through the dash and when I transmit my digital goes nuts. It went nuts to the point where I thought I'd really done it in... numbers went all funny and of course it was just getting dark. Thank goodness I had one gas station left beween me and the desert west of Phoenix so I filled up and turning the lights on and off reset the dash. As it turned out I stayed the night anyways as it was hot, late and only 10 bucks.

I'm going to re-tenna the CB so that it stay away from the rest of my electronics and then maybe I'll be able to say Hi to a passing GMC. Mind you, channel selection is still a "who knows". I like to monitor the trucker channel as entertainment and company (sort of :-) but I always try, or used to try, channel 14 to say Hi. Never have succeeded though.

Good thing I brought the toad... it's turning into my laundry hamper. Never did get the chance or take the time for a laundry stop. Got some new clothes though.

Well... fan-clutch tomorrow and then it's hit the road. Hopefully the rain will have stopped and the pavement will be dry.

Good night.

Wireless update, May 4,1999:

Made it to Santa Rosa and Johnny Franklin's Muffler to give the Flowmaster installation a once over. A little tweaking. Exhaust gasket is leaking but no replacement readily available so we'll tighten it up some and change it at home, but we'll get the tailpipe rattling against the frame looked after, looked after a little better than my temporary strap.

BTW, fan-clutch transplant was successful, all temps back to normal.

This page was last updated
on Monday, April 26, 2004 05:53 PM
( 30-18/0506-33 )