Ambassador PLQ, Old Diary, Travel

Last Minute Hustle

Last Minute TravelWe’re winding down and getting all those last minute chores out of the way.

  • We stocked the fridge.
  • Peg did the laundry.
  • I cleaned out another 1/4 of the basement, and the rear of the CR-V.
  • I put two coats of polyurethane finish on the office desk (it’s been kind of rough and I might as well get it done now).
  • I put a coat of polyurethane finish on our walking sticks — Danish Oil was not a good choice it seems. I haven’t been happy with them since they were done last year and this is a good time (read that: I had the paint brush and the poly out of the basement and I might as well spend a few more minutes with the sandpaper).
  • We found a nice piece of boneless leg of lamb — so we slow cooked that for dinner & for sammies on the trip.  dont_rush_me

In the morning (I’m writing late Sunday evening)  we’ll dump our tanks, refill with fresh water, we might load up on propane — I have a coupon for $2.00 / gal propane (I think that’s better than I can get  in Wisconsin), and hook up our toad.  After that we will pop into the shop and pay our bill — and head for Wisconsin.

Our exact destination for the day is unclear.  Here begins our next round of education:

  • traveling in a 40′ coach
    It will be different finding holes to park in that are 8′ longer than those we needed in the Journey.
  • traveling with solar
    We aren’t dependent upon having plug-ins anymore — so we can comfortably spend the night anywhere we can park.
  • learning to think about overnighting differently.
    We never do multiple days of travel in a row — but for this trip we’ll make the entire trip without a day of rest.
  • discovering what kind of fuel mileage we actually get.
    I’ve mentioned this before, but we haven’t put much fuel into the Ambassador yet and we really don’t know what kind of mileage to expect with her + the addition of the new solar panels will add a little bit of wind resistance and cut into mileage by a little.  How much — we have no idea.

I’ll share more about Silverleaf as I evaluate it for our purposes

I have been playing around with the idea of adding a Silverleaf VMS (Vehicle Monitoring System) to our coach configuration.   The software is reasonably priced (depending on how you feel about such things).  The drawback is that you need a computer to run it — while you are driving.  The software does not run on OS X so I’d either have to set my laptop up with a separate boot partition, or buy a cheap netbook sort of PC.

The software was designed for Heavy Duty trucking applications — lots of miles and demanding situations.  Installation in an RV is — perhaps — overkill.  Then again with years on the road in a heavy duty truck I sort of miss the added info that engine monitoring can provide.  I haven’t decided yet if it’s something I want to move on now, or something I’ll keep under my hat for a while.

I have more instrumentation in the Ambassador than we did in Journey — not a lot, mind you, but a couple more dials.  This engine is a larger block/bore engine and the transmission is a larger version of the Allison we had in our previous coach.  Everything is bigger but we aren’t all that much heavier — I think we’ll be putting less stress on this coach than we did on the other.  But a few thousand miles will help me decide.  By the time get to the coast for this coming Winter we’ll have at least 3,000 miles on her.

Ok — gotta get ready for a busy day.  We’ll write when we can.  Talk to you soon.