What a nice day it was today to travel in our RV!
It didn’t start off that way, but it did get better much better as soon as we cranked up the rig and put her nose in the wind.
I am writing this from the Baileyton RV Park in Baileyton, TN. We’re right off Interstate 81. We got here at about a quarter to four. Right now the sky is all ablaze in its Tennessee sundown splendor and the night is settling in. Right now it’s 55 degrees here and bug free. This evening we may be in for rain and a thunderstorm.
Colleen was the first person up this morning and she rousted me out of bed at about 6:00am. We had breakfast and gathered up our last minute items, computer gear and all that and I brought all that stuff out to the rig. I started the engine to warm up the engine and I plugged in my TPMS and went off and put some stuff away. All of a sudden I’m getting this alarm from the TPMS and I’m seeing 33 PSI on the display. Looking a little closer I see that it’s the R/F on the motorhome.
Computers – what do they know I’m thinking but I thought let me go and give this thing a visual. Sho’ nuff’ the tire had a major flat spot in it and it was going down! Just yesterday I put in 95 PSI and it was holding, so what changed???
I went into my storage compartment and pulled out my 110V Sears compressor, don’t leave home without it. I then set up the electrical cords and placed all my stuff up by the tire. I brought my stick gauge to confirm what I was looking at and Yep! 30 something PSI. I unscrewed the sensor on the tires and as I was removing the sensor I saw a red circular device in the opening of the sensor that appeared to be sideways. I’m thinking that I had not seen that before.
I picked the device out of the sensor oriented it so it would lie in the bottom of the sensor opening flat and seated it back where I expect that it belonged. Apparently this device pushes up against the Schrader valve and allows the pressure to activate the sensor. How it got in there sideways is weird. I will be watching that in the future when I restore the sensors.
I inflated the tire and saw that 95PSI was being indicated on the gauge and I put the sensor back on the valve and screwed it down. Since the engine was running at this time I went and shut it down so I could listen for leaks. Nothing heard we were good to go. At the end of the day the pressure held up in that tire all day long.
Our route took us out of the Myrtle Beach area on route 501 to I95 close to Florence. We went south for a bit and picked up I20. From there we went out to Columbia and picked up the I26 and stayed on that all the way up to I81. Once on I81 South we continued out to exit 36 in Baileyton.
On our way up here there were a number of roadside messages about the rock slide on Interstate 40 at Exit 20. Road closed! Aside from the I26 detour there isn’t all that many ways to get from the SE up to I75. I thought that the I26 would be bumper to bumper however it only got backed up in the south bound lanes in Asheville, NC. An altitude of 3,750ft was crested at Sam’s Gap.
Although I26 doesn’t present the same challenges as the Rockies it does get a little hilly in spots and the road presents 7% grades. Our coach performed flawlessly and climbed the grade just like it always does. At one point during our trip we passed right under the Blue Ridge Parkway. During our trip, I made some notes about what was being seen on my Scan Gauge II including any other info that was in front of me at the moment on my micro cassette recorder.
What I was observing was a good rate of climb in the 4,000RPM range. Engine and transmission temps were always within acceptable limits. The tranny was observed at about 151 degrees for a while and the water temp got up to about 228. Today’s run was just a good workout in my opinion.
Coming down off the grades now that I have a UPA Grade Brake is different however much more fun. What’s basically the first thing you’re going to do if you are going too fast? That’s right step on the brake. As soon as that happens, the transmission downshifts and the engine winds up in compression mode and it starts holding you back.
I’m beginning to see that the transmission downshifts to the right gear almost on the very first application of the brake pedal. So here we are going down the grade pulling slightly over 4,000 RPM however I’m watching the engine temp go down. The tranny is still working a bit so it didn’t cool down as fast as the engine.
Once we leveled out on the plateau, we resumed driving on normal roads. The tranny temp came down 140s and the engine temp was down as low as 204.
So what I experienced in all of this is simple. Regardless of the fact that I have a grade brake, I went up and came down in the same gear and pulled about the same amount of revs. I really like this Grade Brake doo hickey!
See my previous Blog in reference to our new coffee maker. Just after dinner, I entered a program for it to brew in the morning at 6:45a. We hope it works!
Last night was a leftover night however Colleen whipped up this wonderful casserole it had a cream sauce base, peppers, onions, real mushrooms, 2 cups of turkey and it was served on 2 open buttermilk biscuits. She sprinkled a little paprika on it for color and called me to dinner. I took one bite of this thing and man excuse me but I’m busy! Not 2 minutes passed by and Colleen said, “Well …. How is it!!!???” I responded as best as I good “Great!” So after that, I got the “lecture” about telling her how good the thing is on the 1st mouthful. Well my brain never made it to the communications part but it didn’t take long at all to get into the good eatin’ part.
Today, Colleen made me a ham and cheese sandwich pretty much in the same manner that she always has. I immediately looked at her and told her on the first bite how good the sandwich was. Man did I get a look!!!! She said I make you the same sandwich everyday and now you say, “It tastes good!”
Oh well guys…. ya gotta know when to say what!
I’ll put together some MPG numbers for you tomorrow. We filled up at the Columbia, SC Hook on the I20 just a few miles before we got on I26. Gas there was 2.38. Least expensive was 2.31 East of Florence. Gas here in TN appears to be less than 2.40.
Checking the odometer, we did 388 miles today. Beginning the day we had the heat dialed in. As the day progressed we went to air conditioning and toward the end of the day we were back on heat again.
Tomorrow we expect to get to Louisville…