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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Shakedown Trip

Since we came off the road fulltime and bought our little house in South Carolina, the Journey hasn't gone more than a few miles every month or so for a little exercise before returning to the storage lot where we keep it.  That changed when we fired it up for an extended 460 mile trip to Disney World with our daughter and grandsons Andrew and Owen.  Thankfully my brother Jon came down from NJ to stay with my Dad (who now lives with us) while we were away.

Before we left, I spent several days going over the Journey with a fine toothed comb, I serviced the generator myself but had to take it in to the nearby Freightliner dealer for the engine and chassis service.  I know how to do all that myself but I don't have the ability to deal with 20 quarts of used engine oil anymore, so I had to pay to get it done.  😟

Also my front tires needed replacing, the Michelin XRV tires, despite only being five years old had serious cracking on the sidewalls.  Not wanting to experience a blowout I replaced them with two new Goodyear G670 tires.  The rears, even newer than the fronts, are starting to show slight cracking on the sidewalls, but were in good enough condition to last for this trip.  I'll be replacing them later in the summer, we have a wedding in September in Rhode Island and we're planning on taking the Journey there.  No more Michelin tires for me. 

We've mellowed a bit.  Marti and I were heading down a day early and decided to stop halfway at a Flying J for the night, Heather and the boys were driving down the next day.  It was quite a shakedown trip for us.  I-95 in South Carolina was in poor condition and cause us a couple of problems.  First to go was a hubcap.

A little later on we heard an occasional thump from the right front area of the Journey.  I was perplexed wondering what that could be.  When we stopped, I found out that the right front fog light had come loose and was dangling from the wire harness, from time to time as it swung it contacted the back of the bumper making that noise we heard.  Thankfully it didn't come loose and I unhooked it and took it inside.  Another item to repair later.

Thankfully, that was the last problem from the shakedown cruise, I thought.  But I found another issue after we got home from the trip. 

Our favorite sign.

And our home away from home away from home.  For the week.

As always, we had a wonderful time, despite the heat and most afternoon rain storms.  We actually waded ankle deep in water down Main Street one evening in a heavy storm.  It added to the fun as we laughed with every step. 

Andrew had special fun this trip, he is old enough now to drive the golf cart we rented.  A happy camper was he.

All too soon the week was over and we headed home.  This time I drove the whole 460 miles, getting back in the PDD groove.  It felt good and has me looking forward to our next trip to Rhode Island.

We cleaned out the Journey upon returning home and I scrubbed all the bugs off the nose.  Where did all those bugs come from?  As I washed the Journey I noticed a small stain of fluid under the entrance step.  Looking into it further, it seems I have a leak at the hydraulic pump area for the slides/jacks.  I didn't have time to investigate so it's on the repair list for this summer.  Hopefully it's just something loose and an easy fix for a change.  Fingers crossed.

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