Ambassador PLQ, Old Diary, Travel

It doesn’t pay to gloat

I’m getting my comeuppance!

It’s what I get for anticipating a repair and departure date:  a kick in the anticipated schedule.

Last evening before the Svc Manager went home he came over to check on our progress; we looked at a couple things together and considering that he was to be gone for the next 5 days he encouraged us to ask questions and make sure that we were happy with the finished job before leaving.

Based on that conversation I had a couple questions for the technicians working on our coach yesterday — and one question about our coach that I had not been able to find an answer for in the owners manual.

We talked about what he found about the refrigerator, and boy was I glad we did.  He pulled out his troubleshooting directions to show me the schematic for the version of the refrigerate we have.  He was pointing away and explaining why he re-wired the sensor circuit when I commented on the fact that OUR fridge matched diagram 10 which uses wiring schematic 6B, but he had been pointing to diagram 9 which uses wiring schematic 6A.  So, yesterday he had rewired the fridge over-temp sensor according to the wrong schematic and in fact he had not made any fridge repairs; now it was wired so that the over-temp sensor would not work properly; it had been right when we arrived here.  All of which caused a sudden flurry of activity and a brand new attempt to troubleshoot the recent overheat situation.

It turns out that our heating core is failing.  It  needs to be replaced, and our warranty will cover all $2380.00 worth of repair.  At present we are likely to be here in total a week — till Tuesday the 19th. (Though we won’t know for sure until tomorrow morning when we get a call from the Svc Mgr to tell us exactly when the parts will arrive.   The warranty is also covering the cost of the water pump repair; we lucked out with our warranty purchase this time.

The second question got me an answer I’ve been looking for (haphazardly) since taking delivery of our Ambassador.  PLQ cockpitOn my left side there’s a panel of rocker switches.  And the furthest back and furthest outboard is a rocker switch labeled:  ATC.  Nowhere have I found a reference to that switch — and it turns out  it’s an Automatic Traction Control — a feature of the Allison transmission which applies braking to one drive wheel in case it begins to spin, slowing it down to the same speed as the wheel still gripping.  Not sure I’ll ever use it — but nice to know what it is (the button).

See the Air Dump switch?

See the Air Dump switch?

We don't have 'automatic' leveling -- we have to do it ourselves.

We don’t have ‘automatic’ leveling — we have to do it ourselves.

There were two other items on our list:  a question about one of the slides — turns out my expectation was wrong — the slide is ok.  And another about our leveling system which we jointly concluded may have been happening because of something I was doing (should stop dropping the air in our airbags when we are leveling).  Always something new to learn.

So…. at the end of the day we moved from behind the shop where the technician has our coach up on the leveling jacks to the other end of the Travel Center parking lot where we are plugged in for 4 or 5 days.  Just knowing we are here for the next few days makes us feel a lot  better.  Knowing is always better than not knowing.

And so it is, as the sun sets gently in the Western sky…..

No, seriously…. thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow. 🙂

Old Diary

Open Sesame!

I grew up with stories and movies where people said things like “Open Sesame” and hidden doors would open revealing secret rooms and compartments.  ali baba ali-babaYup. I grew up with the likes of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves!  And not just one version — several versions that I watched religiously on one of our few TV channels in those early days of TV.  (Yes, Mary, there were days when TV did not exist and there were days when you only received one or two channels)

There was something mystical about standing in front of a stone facade with enemies surrounding and being able to yell “Open Sesame” and to have the rock move revealing a secret compartment. I longed for such powers!

Then again, being a midwesterner, and a naive child I a part of me always expected some kind of bakery product,  perhaps a kaiser roll cut in half with pastrami or something.  You do know about kaiser rolls, don’t you?

this happens to be an ONION kaiser roll; my personal favorite over sesame!

this happens to be an ONION kaiser roll; my personal favorite over sesame!

Well, our current open sesame project has nothing to do with stone walls and nothing to do with bakery shops.  At the moment we’re trying to master the art of bathroom door prestidigitation ( and don’t you know that was one heck of a word to remember the spelling for).

You see, the Ambassador has a three ram leveling system. One ram short of the 4 ram system we were accustomed to in Journey.  And what we have just discovered is that there are some tricks involved in living within our new home.

The technician at the dealership told us something — quite in passing — that just sank in.  Any room-slide on an RV  is going to be top heavy.  It makes perfect sense. In and of itself that’s not a huge thing. But it suggests that there may be a tendency for that hanging weight to compress the weather seals at the top of the slide more than at the bottom of the slide.  In the case of a kitchen slide that might just result in the kitchen counter not being completely level.

Which isn’t dangerous, and isn’t earth shattering, and isn’t much of an inconvenience at all except if you rely on the kitchen counter as the place to set your bubble level when you want to set your leveling jacks!

It’s not all that unusual to crank up the engine from time to time to re-level a coach if it’s equipped with hydraulic rams like ours.  Hydraulic fluid is, well…. FLUID!  Valves leak, temperatures change — it’s a part of living in an RV to relevel from time to time.

If you have only three jacks instead of four than it makes sense that each jack is supporting a little more weight.  And if your new RV is 5,000 pounds heavier than the old one then each jack is also supporting an initial heavier load than the jacks in the other RV.  All of which suggests that maybe the Ambassador will need to be re-levelled more often than the Journey.

Enter the Bathroom Door…

I never expected a bathroom door to be the object of intense scrutiny but that is turning out to be the case. 2014040210282513 2014040210283614 We aren’t possessed by evil spirits, and we don’t have resident aliens.  What we do have is a very sensitive bathroom door.

It seems that the two rear leveling jacks do a good job of leveling the floor in the back of the coach and most of the time that bathroom door rests in the open position.  But what happens if your WIFE is the one monitoring the bubble gauge while releveling and she sets the gauge on the kitchen counter?  Well, the kitchen side of the coach will read as if it is lower than it really is and the poor guy up front operating the ram controls from the driver’s seat will blindly follow the wife’s instructions!  That’s what will happen.


You turn off the engine, go back about your business and wife comes up to you complaining that the bathroom door insists on closing!  Aiy Caramba! What is the matter?

The magical Bubble Level, keep the bubble in the center of the level and all is well.

The magical Bubble Level, keep the bubble in the center of the level and all is well.

A little while later you have set your bubble level on most of the surfaces in the coach and confirmed that indeed the slides really are top heavy, the flat surfaces that are solidly attached to any of the slides are always going to sag a bit towards the outside of the coach and you have learned a new lesson in living in a house with 4 slides: don’t rely on a counter or a table when you are leveling your coach!

Twenty minutes later we were leveled and the bathroom door no longer had a mind of it’s own.  The Wife was happy.  The door was happy.  All the Forest Fairies were happy.  And tranquility returned to the forest.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you make the trip tomorrow and we can chat again.  I promise there won’t be any prestidigitating doors (can you tell, I like that word now that I figured out how to spell it).

Vroom, Vroom……2014040213244330