A lot has happened since my last posting. I quit my job at Home Depot a few months earlier than planned. I am just so much happier as a result. I worked hard on getting the interior of the bus buttoned down to the point to where I could move it. Bought a 6000 (surge)/5500 (running) watt LP generator. Sucker weighs 210lbs. But it wasn’t hard to move around once I got the wheel kit on it. Stacey & I used ratcheting cargo straps to lift the thing into place under the bus. I had bolted Super Strut electrical “C” channels to the floor of the bus, then used (4) U-Bolts to attach the generator frame to the Super Struts. I did crank it up before I installed it. Got cabinet doors put up and mostly painted. Threw away a lot of stuff. Filled the old food cart with more stuff. All to leave Roswell on July 4th.
The trip to from Roswell to Socorro is 170 miles “door to door”. Capitan is the “halfway point” where we normally stop for drinks and a bathroom break when traveling back and forth. It’s 95 miles from Socorro and 75 miles from Roswell. It took Stacey & I a good 7 hours to travel that 75 miles. The bus was overheating (220F and up) which stopped once we discovered that there was no water in the radiator. Hey, the overflow coolant container was at the FULL mark. I did not know there was a hole in the radiator overflow hose until we got to Socorro and we pulled the hose. The bus has power steering. A surprise to me since the power steering hose had a hole in it. And I cannot get the parking brakes to set on a slope. Only works on flats. The brakes themselves work, just not the parking brakes. Mechanicals is not my skill set. Carpentry is. David always took care of that and I thought he had checked all that out before he died last November. Well, I gotta learn it all. The “bad” tire held together until we got to Socorro at which point it lost all the air in it once parked.
We pulled into Capitan after dark during the town’s July 4th celebration. I did not run anyone over. And they were lined up both sides of the road. Bear in mind, both of us is night blind. At least the headlights worked, although the running lights and turn signals didn’t. We spent the night in the parking lot of the Shell station which is marked with “No Parking” signs. To me, those signs mean “ask if I can stay overnight”. They were gracious enough to let us. We slept thru the fireworks thanks to exhaustion and ear plugs.
We made the remaining 95 miles in 2-1/4 hours. Someone was definitely looking out for us on this trip. And that’s not even mentioning the murder. Yeppers, there was a murder (shooting) in the quiet little RV park I was staying in. We left around 3PM and the murder occurred a little after 6PM.
I have a lot of work still to do on the bus. I have to get tires on it and get the air brake situation fixed. I have a very nice bus mechanic out of Roswell helping me over the phone. I DEEPLY appreciate that. I have to find tires here in Socorro. Apparently the place I had planned on getting tires from has closed up. I have to replace the desiccant cartridge in the air drier. I need to buy some larger holding tanks and add another fresh tank. I need to make up a mister for the radiator, just for peace of mind. And I got to get Stacey, her dog and all their stuff packed into the bus.
I have decided to scrap the old food cart. If it doesn’t fit into one of the two Jeeps, we don’t need it. The bus is currently sitting out on the street in front of the house. I sleep in it at night. It is on electric.
Only one refrigerator (the older one) defrosted during the almost 24 hours the bus was without power. The freezer was still solidly frozen when it was started back up again.
All in all, I think I did pretty good. I didn’t drive off the road. I didn’t run anyone over. I didn’t hit anything. Once the radiator stayed cool, the bus was running 65 on the flats but it was still creeping up the long steep hills. But I expected that. I think I did a reasonable speed on the Interstate. I can only go by how fast Stacey said I was going. Since I don’t have a speedometer cable in the thing! It was suggested to me by the bus mechanic that I should get a GPS to use instead of a new cable. I’m working on getting prices from a parts place in Moriarty.
Right now I am co-babysitting my other daughter’s two dogs. So I haven’t been able to do anything on the bus since I have to referee the three dogs (Anna’s two and Stacey’s one) who are all jealous of each other. After Tuesday, I go back to working on the bus.