Saturday, August 08, 2015

A little R&R

We all need a little R&R and now seemed like a good time. We left Red Bay on Wednesday afternoon and drove to Tupelo to the CAT dealer. We had spent some time at Bay Diesel and he changed out the coolant sensor module which is what the first CAT dealer thought was wrong. But since Bay Diesel is not CAT certified they didn't have the software to activate it, so they sent us to Tupelo. They were waiting on us and when we got there they flashed that module. The problem is that reactivating that new module did not work. The problem of "low coolant" and "check engine" lights continues. A fairly long discussion ensued with the tech at Thompson CAT about the feasibility of tracking down the problem. The engine computer has plug-ins on two sides. One is the CAT side and everything that plugs in there is necessary to the operation of the engine. The modules that Freightliner plugs in to the other side of the main computer are interfaces that are there to inform you when something with the chassis has a problem. But those are not necessary to the operation of the engine. He likened them to tire pressure sensors. We use those too. We normally don't even check our tires anymore because we plug in the monitor and it tells us what our tire pressure is in each tire. But if a battery goes dead, that tire monitor will beep a warning, but the tire is still okay and will continue to be okay. So that's kind of the problem with this module. It's telling us we have low coolant, but we don't. We run the Silverleaf Engine Diagnostics program on a laptop which Terry watches as we go down the road. He can read the engine temps. So we know all is well. But if we leave the module "on," it will actually de-rate and eventually halt the engine, which we don't want. So we chose to keep the module deactivated. The tech said the message he's getting is indicative of an open ground. Tracing down a wire on that engine and wiring harness could cost thousands of dollars and be a twenty-five cent part. He wasn't very optimistic that it would be easy to find. I don't know. . . maybe he didn't want to do it. But at any rate, he made a good case for not tracking it down and we decided not to at this point.

The other thing that Bay Diesel did for us was find the source of our fumes. Two men crawled into the belly or basement of the coach and found diesel fuel in the electrical chaseway running front to back in the basement! No one else had thought to look there. . . instead they looked into the fuel lines raceway and it was clean. There also is a hatch in the underbelly that allows access into the fuel tank and one man climbed up on top of the tank and said he observed where fuel had spilled at one time. He said he believed it had sprayed into that raceway and coated all the wires with fuel. So what they did was remove the "loom" which is the corrugated plastic housing that goes around the wires. The loom was full of fuel and there is no cleaning that. It doesn't really do anything other than protects the wires during the building of the coach, according to Chris the owner. So it was removed and the bundled wires were wiped off. The box the wires were in was wiped down as well. We still have some smell. . . there is probably no way to remove it all, and we still smell diesel when we stop. It does seem to dissipate quickly in the coach. There still is a strong smell in the basement yet, but we are hoping that will eventually subside. We know there are no more leaks because the mechanics looked it over well, so hopefully we can put this behind us as well.

So when we left Thompson CAT, we didn't want to go far. We have never found many campgrounds around Tupelo that we liked, but we found the "Trace Lake State Park" about six miles from town and headed over there. It was a great find. Our site here was probably 80 feet long and paved, with full hook ups and on a lake! We spent two days there and had some pretty intense thunderstorms. Nothing dangerous, but so much rain! During the night Butterscotch got restless and decided she wanted to go out. I was a bit confused till I heard what I'm sure was a bobcat. It was screaming like cats do during the night, but it was much louder, so I'm sure that's what it was. We have seen them in the wild here before and we were in a forest. There were a lot of deer here as well. We saw some everytime we drove on the park roads. Needless to say, Butterscotch stayed in and safe.

From there we drove over to Sardis. This is a lake where Terry used to fish with his Uncle and his cousin Gary when he was young. It is a large reservoir.  I had always wanted to see it, so we drove over. We were only about 60 miles away, so it was a short drive. This is beautiful over here. The lake is really nice and there are a couple campground on it. We are parked below the dam in the John Kyle State Park. We again have full hookups. . . I'm seeing a trend here I think. The Mississippi state parks are often full hookup with 50 amp and if you are 65 or older or disabled you can get $10 off. So the sites are $24 and you pay $14. That's the real deal!

There are dozens of hummingbirds surrounding the feeders at the check-in station here in the park. I can't get good pictures. . . need to check the settings on my camera, but they are so much fun to watch!

We are leaving here tomorrow and headed to Tunica. I can really relax there, particularly if I win anything! LOL Oh well, even if I don't it will be okay. We plan then to head for Indiana. It has been in the high 90's the entire time we have been south and the heat index is in the red zone everyday. We spend a lot of time inside with the dogs. The weather in northern Indiana has been better, so we plan to head back up there soon.

Till next time. . .


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