Now begins the next chapter in our adventures, Florida to Arizona, 2019!!!


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Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 12, 2019 at 7:01pm

Another trouble free leg of the journey, and we are in Orange, TX!!!

The trip was 286.6 miles, and when I topped off the diesel at the Flying J, it took 27.41 gallons. Which means we are getting 10.45 mpg!!! Woohoo! We aren't going to save a ton of money since diesel is so much more expensive than gasoline...but we'll save a little, have a TON of horsepower, and the ride from this rig is so quiet and smooth! Each leg of this journey I'm going to keep track of the MPG, and then average it out at the end.

Transmission fluid level was perfect again when we pulled in, but I do have a slow leak in the power steering. It was down about 1/3 quart when I checked it this morning. I suspect it is leaking at the pump, either from the pump itself, or one of the lines (hopefully the low pressure return!). I say that because we haven't lost a drop of transmission fluid from what the dip stick indicates, but there is some red drops of transmission fluid on the bottom of the Allison transmission. So my guess, since the power steering takes the same fluid, is that it leaked from on top in the engine compartment, and then dripped down to the bottom of the transmission pan. I can't find any indication of a leak anywhere else. I'll have to fix that when I get to Arizona and have time and money to do so.

I also picked up a cheap 400 watt inverter at the last Flying J to run the small flat screen TV and satellite receiver dish...I tested it and it can handle the power. Not sure how much battery life the two Interstate golf cart batteries will give me, but I'm guessing it will make it so we can watch TV at night without running the generator. The cost of propane is pretty high right now, and we just filled the tank. I'm not sure how efficient the Onan is, but running the TV off the inverter will no doubt save us a lot of money by not having to burn through so much propane.

And that was today's adventure folks! The Flying J in Orange's RV parking spots were full of trucks and cars (even though there were tons of open car parking spots) we parked among the semis in the back. I really want to start carrying a can of washable blaze orange spray paint...and every time I see a vehicle that isn't an RV (or isn't pulling a trailer, boat, etc), I want to spray paint the 2 letters "RV" on the side of the vehicle in big capital! Think they would get the hint?

Tomorrow we have a much shorter leg of the trip, from Orange, TX to Brookshire, TX, so we can make it to the other side of Houston on a Sunday. Only 148 miles tomorrow.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 12, 2019 at 8:45am

I tried that Rich, but thanks!  Apparently there is no electric fuel pump on this thing, just a vacuum pump that pumps the fuel when you turn over the engine.  From what I gather so far, I'm supposed to start the engine right after draining the separator, and then give it some throttle to keep it from stalling until that air bubble is gone.  Plus, I might have drained too much fuel, creating a large air pocket...I'm still getting used to this diesel thing, and I emptied the fuel/water separator completely...from what I read, you are just supposed to open it long enough for the diesel to run clean.

So after coffee this morning, I'll be fixing the 12 volt plug for the Brake Buddy in the Jeep, doing all my fluid and tire checks, and then we'll be hitting the road west again.  295 miles on our next leg of the journey, from where we are now in Gulfport, Mississippi, to the Flying J in Orange, TX.


Comment by Rich Thomas on January 11, 2019 at 8:00pm

Hi Kevin, you might try turning the key to the run position next time so the fuel pump is filling the separator while you are draining it. that's how I do my diesel tractors. Granted they aren't  RV's so it maybe totally different for you. 

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 11, 2019 at 7:30pm

I'll be setting my trip meter before we leave tomorrow, and top off the diesel when we get to the Anthony, TX Flying J.  I'm really curious what kind of fuel economy we are getting, since it runs at such low RPMs and seems to be sipping fuel so far.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 11, 2019 at 7:27pm

So far so good! We arrived safely and with no mechanical problems at the Flying J in Gulfport, Mississippi, about a 250 mile drive.

When we arrived, we filled the propane tank, the diesel tank, and while the Itasca was still warm and running in idle, I checked the transmission fluid, and it was at the perfect level. Then we parked it, took the pups out, had dinner, and then fired up the generator.

WOW what a different experience driving this Suncruiser is! The wind barely made an impact, we could barely feel the push from passing semi trucks...and instead of flooring it to make it up hills, I had to keep glancing down at the speedo to make sure I wasn't going over 60! This thing wants to boogie!

Before we leave tomorrow, I'll check the rest of the fluids, the tire pressures, and I have to do a quick project on the Jeep (which I laid out in a compartment already, easy to reach)...the 12 volt source that works with the key off for the Brake Buddy keeps blowing a 25 amp fuse...but if I plug the Brake Buddy into the other 2 12 volt receptacles, it works fine and no fuses blow. So it is the power plug, not the Brake Buddy. Which means I am going to run some new 10 gauge wires right to the battery with an inline fuse, and hook it up to a 12 volt female receptacle that is in my electrical box, and put it under the dash board (that is the easy troubleshoot or replace the one IN the dash, I would have to take half the dash thanks!).

Also, anyone know the correct procedure for draining the water/diesel separator? Is there a bleeding procedure I didn't know about? When I started the Itasca this morning, it started right up...and then stalled...and then it look a while before it would start again. It was turning over, just not getting any fuel, so air must have gotten into the system when I drained the separator. Starts and runs just fine now, but gave me a bit of a scare this morning.

Tomorrow, we drive another 200 or so miles to Anthony, TX to stay at that Flying J, and then on Sunday, we drive about the same distance, which will put us through Houston on a Sunday, and we'll land at the Flying J in Brookshire, TX on the other side of Houston.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 11, 2019 at 7:27pm

Thanks Rich...and LMAO Postman!!!

Comment by postman on January 11, 2019 at 7:12pm

I have developed a "Where's Kevo?" smart phone app. It's FREE for the first mile, then $0.99 a mile thereafter. I accept crypto monopoly money ONLY as all US currency has been shutdown. 

Comment by Rich Thomas on January 11, 2019 at 3:32pm

Good luck on your journey home Kevin. Hope all goes well for you and Patti; oh an the dogo's, but the dogo's have a good time even when we humans think it can't get much worse. Safe travels!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 11, 2019 at 9:00am

We are enjoying our morning coffee (well, at least I am...Patti already showered and is doing her hair and makeup, etc), and then we'll be getting in the Jeep to say farewell to our camp host/campground owner, who has been so amazing to us this past few weeks.

And then we'll take the pups out one more time, hook up the Jeep, stow everything that needs stowing, dump the holding tanks, unhook and stow the hoses and power cable and Dish Tailgater, start the RV and let it warm up...and then we'll be hitting the road! I-10 West for a couple thousand miles!

Westward HO!!!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on January 10, 2019 at 5:55pm

Everything is ready to go! The carpets are shampooed, the Jeep is loaded up, the cabinets are stocked, the fresh water tank is full, all fluids and pressures checked, I drained the diesel/water separator and gifted it to a huge fire ant mound, the tow lights are on the Jeep...and we are leaving in the morning!

Which also happens to be Patti's birthday. I asked her if she wanted to wait one more day so she could relax on her birthday...and nope! She wants to hit the road!

Wish us luck on our maiden voyage (if you don't count the 180 miles we drove it from Lake City, FL to the campground we are at in Cottondale, FL)! It is going to be a long one, all the way to Arizona. I really hope everything is good on this RV...LOL!

Keep us in your hopes and prayers!




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