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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flushed and Re-tired

It's time.  Time to forget about vacuuming rugs, dusting counters and making beds.  It's time for an extended trip in the Journey.  No weekend jaunt here, a trip to one of our favorite places:  Branson, Missouri.

Sometimes we like to travel alone, just the two of us.  Other times, we enjoy taking people with us.  This is one of the latter times, we're taking my Dad and Marti's sister, Gail.

Of course, with my anal retentive tendencies, I had to get a couple more maintenance items taken care of.  I have to shower love on the Journey to keep it running in tip-top shape.  Actually, that shower of love is money, it's not cheap owning a diesel pusher.

Last week I dropped off the Journey at my local Freightliner shop.  At the four year mark, the Cat engine's cooling system needs to be drained, flushed, drained again and then refilled with fresh coolant.  If you don't do this, you can get corrosion and acids in the coolant that can severely damage the engine and radiator.  I didn't want those problems.  An ounce of prevention...

Once again, this coolant change job is something I know how to do, but I don't have the means to accomplish it, the cooling system had over 9 gallons of liquid coolant in it, then add the flushing liquid to it and you have 18 gallons of liquid that needs to be contained and recycled.   So it's one job that I have to farm out.

The Journey was waiting for me when I arrived.

To make sure everything worked okay, I checked the coolant level, then took the Journey for a jaunt down the highway.  Everything checked out fine.  I wanted to ensure all was well, I hate to think of being stuck on the side of the road with an overheated engine, especially since part of the trip will take us through some places that are a bit wild and if you listen closely, you can hear banjo music being played off in the distance.

I wasn't done yet, I had another stop to make.  Several months ago, I mentioned that my front tires, Michelin XRVs were exhibiting ( I have to deprogram myself from these legal words), showing signs of cracking.  The RV forums have discussed these tire problems and the subsequent failures that happen.  These failures can be quite devastating and cause extensive damage to the RV.

  Again, not being a fan of sitting on the side of the road, tapping my foot to banjo music, I went to my local Michelin Truck Tire dealer.  A week back, I had the tires inspected and the dealer made a call to Michelin customer service.  My tires were not yet five years old and the dealer thought I had a valid complaint.  Michelin agreed and gave me two new front tires for a discount of $283 per tire.  Not too bad for tires that cost over $500 each.

In went the Journey.

In no time, the tech had the front wheels off,

and he was muscling the old tires off the rim and the new ones on.

I love big air tools.

And there they are, nice new tires on the front.

I asked the tire dealer to see if he could get me the freshest (most recently made) tires possible and he came through.  These tires have a date code of 2111, meaning they were made on the 21st week of 2011, around mid May.  When tires have a life of 5 to 7 years, the newer the tires, the longer service life you'll get out of them.

So tomorrow night, when we pull out on our 1100 mile trip to Branson, the only banjo music I'll be hearing is on the radio.  Stay tuned to see what kind of trouble I get into at Branson. :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. I was kind of looking forward to hearing your tales of the banjo music. But with everything all taken care of - I'll just have to settle for Branson. One of our favorite places.

  2. just so long as you don't squeal like a you know what!..have a safe trip!..can't wait to read all about it!!

  3. Pretty soon it will be better than new. I am with you, no banjo music along the road in the dark:(

  4. You guys deserve an extended getaway, heck you may even find out you can afford to do it fulltime while waiting for the house to sell. Wouldn't that be nice............

  5. Sounds like fun! New tires, new trip and no banjo .... have a great time! Take notes, take pictures and report back so the rest of us can get jealous!

  6. Only banjo music you will get to hear now will be on a stage in Branson:))

  7. I see you use the Johnson Truck Center too ... we had our service done there earlier this year and were very pleased with the service they travels and looking forward to reading about your adventure while we sit at home here in soggy VA.

  8. Good to have all that done before a long trip... As for banjo music ~ that's why we don't drive at You never know!!!
    Have fun & travel safe

  9. Banjo players are sure taking a bad wrap here. I know some mighty nice folks who play the banjo.

    You sure are getting the journey all set for the full timing life. Do you make up the sandwich board and start walking the streets advertising the house when you get back from Branson???

  10. I like the way you take care of the Journey Paul. John takes care of our vehicles that way.