Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Frugal RVing, Tight Budgets and "Cheaping Out" on Maintenance...

Have you ever wanted to take a brick and thump it on the side of your head... WHACK! THUMP! CRUNCH! ... just to make 'nuff noise to see if anybody is at home?

Sheesh...

Yeah, it was cold... too damn cold for my Ol' achin' kiester... but... it wasn't really cold enough that winter diesel shoulda been gellin'... and that thought kept runnin' through my head... as the truck kept acting like its fuel was gelling...

... and then... the Light finally clicked on... Uh oh... That's My Fault...

Yeah... I know... I was a baaaaaaad RVer... I've learnt this Ol' lesson before... guess I needed another refresher course... listen up... so maybe you don't have to take any Tums for the Heartburn! :o)

Even if your budget is squeaky tight... it ain't gonna save you anything to stretch your maintenance schedule out... Doin' that is only gonna turn back and bite you on those tender parts you sit on... You'll find yourself sweatin' on the side of a road, in the dark of night with the thermometer singin' "It's beginning to look a lot like 5 below!" at ya... and you prayin' the thing don't just up and Quit on ya all together...

Had a lube service pull the fuel filter yesterday... Now, it ain't cold enough any more to prove it I guess, but from the look of the fuel filter, I'm tee total confident my Diesel Gelling issue was actually a fuel filter getting waxed up. The thing was dirty... and if the guy drivin' the rig it was in... had any sense left at all... it woulda been changed some lil' while ago...

But... Nooooooo!... I can squeeze a few more miles out of it! Right?... uh.... Wrong! :o)

WHACK! THUMP! CRUNCH! ... I ain't even gonna tell you what else I found that I'd been stretching... :o) just sometimes gettin' dumber in my old age...

There's paraffin in diesel... enough of that builds up in the filter... and it's a hard thing for your fuel pump to suck any fuel through it... and that good diesel engine starts chuckin' and chokin'... trying to keep going but starving for fuel.

Add in below zero temps and that wax plugs up even quicker... which now, I'm confident was my problem. That filter sits on the side of that Cummins engine... and as soon as I fought the thing up to something like operating temp, that wax would soften up enough to let fuel flow OK...

... and that's when that light started its clicking... 

DOH! I sure hope they come up with a cure for Old Timers Syndrome soon... or I'm gonna be found wanderin;' 'round the Vegas strip some dark night... in my Jammies!

So... when you're sittin' at the table of a morning... sippin' your coffee, lookin' out the window at the open country you're lucky to be boondocked in... scribblin' on a piece of paper and squeezin' the juice out of  a $3 Wal Mart calculator; cogitatin' on how to stretch your budget... that's as tight as a Leotard on Rosie O'Donnel...

... Might I make a suggestion? ... stretch your fuel budget (slow down)... stretch your food budget (go on a diet or eat a lot of PBJ! :o) ... hunt up the free camps and stretch your parking budget...  but I'll suggest from the experience of a sometimes slow witted Ol' Buster... Don't cheap out on your maintenance...

Doin' that is only gonna cost you bigger repair bills... and more expenses buying Tums at Walgreens... to deal with the heartburn you're gonna get from dealing with the Issues that come up from stretching the wrong dang thing! :o)

Learning Old Lessons... Again... on the RV Road
Brian

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

5 comments:

Sharlotte said...

Well glad we got that figured out. Just be glad you can remember what it was you were cutting down on. Sometimes lately, I am having problems remembering what I was doing an hour ago. LOL Maybe you need to start a new book and title it, "The Things A Broken Down Cowboy Needs To Remember About RVing." I will buy your first copy. How is the new book coming along?? (hint hint)

Hope you and Heidi have had a wonderful time with the family for Christmas. As crazy as the weather has been in Arizona, you may be heading back home to COLD. Lol
Be safe my friend, and have a great New Year.

Cindy said...

Good for you,Brian. Confession is good for the soul.LOL I like the suggestion of what you CAN cut back on to NOT short change the crucial maintenance plan. Tioga George has his programmed to pop up on a regular basis and follows it. Might work for you. But ya gotta let go of those nickels to make it HAPPEN. LOL Hugs

Brian said...

Yup!... and I know... for a lot of people... (Me!) ... when the wallet is thin, it's sometimes hard to see that you're saving money by spending some, doing proper maintenance...

... and costing extra... when you short change your maintenance...

... but... over the long haul, that's pretty much how she works out!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Greetings from Southern California.

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to :-)

God Bless You, ~Ron

Anonymous said...

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Basically you work 30 hours a week as a campground host, welcoming campers and answering questions, and othher stuff... Nothing that displaces a staff worker; no toilet cleaning like stuff.


And, to be able to answer questions you have to spend alittle time to learn about the area .... which you would likely want to do anyway... I expect many states have similar programs.

ernie