We’re off! Travel days 1 & 2…

We finally left for the trip at about 1 pm on Thursday. Our goal was to get to Toledo OH for the night at the KOA campground there. Since I hadn’t really put many (any) miles on the RV since doing all this work to it, I decided that we weren’t going to just hop on I-90 and go. Since I wanted to stop at the Camping World store outside Buffalo NY on the way, I decided that we would drive across US 20 at least that far.

Things went pretty well until we got to Lancaster – from there to Hamburg we were in horrible traffic and stuck at red lights. Pulled into Camping World and shut off the RV and went inside to grab a few things for the road. When we came out about 15 minutes later, the RV would not start. More than that, nothing happened at all when I turned the key. Panic. Finally after looking things over (and really doing nothing) it cranked over and started. I am chalking that up to an overheated solenoid on the starter. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

The roadside repairThe rest of the day was pretty uneventful until about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. We hit a REALLY big bump in the road and then I heard the sounds of metal dragging on the highway. At first it sounded to me like the safety chain for the tow dolly, but once we got pulled off the side of the road I found a harder to solve problem. Both of the brand new exhaust hangers holding the tail pipe up had ripped apart where the rubber is riveted.

Mind you – this is at 10:30 at night on the side of a very busy I-90 and I have to crawl under the driver’s side with traffic whizzing by at 75 miles per hour.  I didn’t bring any extra exhaust hangers, and I had no metal wire to use. Finally I thought to look in the fishing tackle box in the back of the car and I found the fish stringer hooks. A quick duck under the RV and we were ready to be off. From there we made it to a travel plaza just east of Toledo and pulled off for the night.

Chicago from I-90On day 2 we had a long trip to make it to Afton MN to my aunt and uncle’s house. Things were uneventful until around Chicago. At the Costco I got yelled at by the gas pump manager when gas spilled out of the main tank overflow. Once it starts running you can’t stop it until the hose drains and the lady was freaking out at me. I had to wait for her to spray some chemical that breaks the gas down and soak it up with pads. We ate lunch in an open area of the parking lot there (inside the RV) and then headed back out.

That is where it got worse. The engine started running rough under power and acting like it was running out of gas. I struggled to get up to speed and couldn’t get up hills at speed. It got worse the further we went. On the flat we could hit 65, but even at 70 at the start of a hill we struggled to stay above 45 by the top. And there are a lot of hills heading into Eau Claire WI and across to Minnesota. It was a rough day, but we made it there about 10 pm.

Now, for a couple of days of relaxation and some minor work on the RV.

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