Friday, December 21, 2012

Headed North

We had a great plan for heading north to the Midwest for the holidays.  On our way out of Livingston we would obtain our annual State vehicle inspection of our motor home.  Then we would drive the motor home 75 miles north to a paint shop in Nacogdoches, Texas.  The motor home would stay there for some paint work and we would go on in the car to Detroit, Columbus, and Indianapolis and pick up the motor home on the way back for wintering in the South of Texas.

Immediately in the morning on the way to the inspection, the motor home started sputtering.  We finished the inspection, but this shop was not able to look at diesel engine systems.  Gary drained some fuel from the fuel filters and it didn’t look good at all – many black specks in it.  We called an RV shop and they said they could not look at us until the following week.  We called a diesel repair shop and they said they could not look at it until the afternoon, but even then we would have to get the owner’s permission for them to look at it as they didn’t usually work on motor homes.  So we sputtered over to their shop to wait for the owner to come in after lunch.  Meanwhile Gary went to NAPA to buy some new filters.  While there he asked it they knew anyone else who could work with us.  A customer in the store mentioned a shop they all agreed could be an alternative.  Gary drove by in the car and they said they would look at it and change the filters right away.  So we sputtered over to that shop.  When they drained off some fluid they indicated we likely had bacteria in our fuel.

Gary headed back to NAPA to get some kind of biocide for the fuel in the tank and a spare set of new filters while the technician installed the set of filters we already had purchased.  NAPA didn’t have a biocide for this situation.  Gary called a friend who recommended a product but the nearest source for it was an hour an half in the opposite direction we were going.  And NAPA couldn’t have another set of  extra filters for us until the next day.

The filters we had purchased were installed by the time Gary got back, but then it was decision time.  We really could not stay another day and maintain our schedule for driving north and appointments we already had made.  We either had to drive on with new filters, but with no treatment of the fuel and no extra filters, or take the motor home back to the campground, leave it there for the three weeks we would be gone and cancel our appointment at the paint shop.

We went on a 20-mile test drive and then went back to the shop.  He drained off some more fuel out of the filter and it looked very clean.  The bad fuel had not overwhelmed the filter in that amount of driving.  But would it work for another 75 miles?  We decided we would take the risk even though it could leave us stuck on the side of the road if the the filter loaded up.  Fortunately, we made it without a hitch.

We didn’t get to the paint shop until the end of their work day so we just stayed in their lot and checked in with them the next morning.  Before Noon we were on our way in the car with Alley Cat in tow and made stops in Arkansas and Kentucky before we arrived in the Detroit area.  Our motor home is where we wanted it to be for the holidays and Gary made his doctor’s appointment.  We are visiting family and friends here through Christmas day and will then move on for two more gatherings.  And we are also buying some biocide and extra filters so we will have them when we get back to the motor home.


  1. It sounds like Plan B is working. I hope it continues to do so.

  2. Yikes, NOT fun. At least you made it up north, in time for the snow?