From the middle of January to the end of March, we camped on a friend’s farm as caretakers. We enjoyed the time there and accomplished our goals of exploring North Alabama and keeping a regular fitness routine. I suppose we can check the box that we have Workamped now. Not bad, but hitch itch had us ready to move on.
Our first stop was Brannon Hutchinson’s Custom RV Shop in Red Bay, AL. We needed the annual maintenance on the AquaHot system that kept us warm all winter and we wanted Brannon to do a couple upgrades to The Bus. Unfortunately, when we tried to retract the bedroom slide, it did not move. After checking all the electrical circuits, I looked under the bed and found the electric motor and gearbox for the slide mechanism had broken in half. The owner’s manual describes how to manually retract the slide, but that assumes the motor and gears are in one piece. What would MacGyver do? I removed the remaining gearbox assembly and used a flat drill bit and electric drill to retract the slide. It was not pretty, but it worked. I called Tiffin Service Center and asked if they had a replacement assembly. They said yes, but they have two different parts (one was $530 and the other was $245) and they were not sure which one I needed. We grabbed the broken pieces and took off in the Jeep for Red Bay, AL. The parts counter showed us both parts and they were identical except on had a fitting on the end of the main shaft that allows you to use a socket and wrench to move the slide manually. I chose the one with the fitting and was happy that it was the $245 one! Once back, we installed the new assembly liberally applying blue Loctite to all bolts and lubricating the slide mechanism. It works great. Since the failure probably occurred because the bolts became loose, I decided to check the bolts in the front slide. I found one bolt about to fall out and the other three finger tight. I removed each, applied blue Loctite, and reassembled them as well as lubricating the slide mechanism.
With the slides in good shape, we headed to Red Bay to see Brannon. He quickly cleaned and serviced the AquaHot system then began converting our oven/stove range fan to exhaust externally rather than internally. He removed the oven and cut a hole in the exterior wall to fit a new duct and vent cover. He reversed the fan and bolted the oven back in place. We really like this upgrade as we do a lot of cooking and it keeps the inside of The Bus cleaner and smelling fresh. We took the opportunity to upgrade the porch light to the 2017 style LED light.
|Bruce Deaton painted the vent cover to match.|
Next, he replaced our cloudy headlights with new projector beam and LED headlights. The new lights give the old coach a fresh look and we hope we will get more usable light from them.
With this work complete, we headed back to camp near Huntsville, AL since I had a business trip to Orlando, FL the following week with a flight out of Huntsville. With a day to spare, we visited the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center and really enjoyed the history and glimpse into future space operations.
We left the Huntsville, AL area and relocated to one of our favorite spots at Uchee Creek Campground adjacent to Ft Benning, GA. We like this area because we can take care of medical/dental appointments and visit our sons in Auburn as well as assist Pattie’s mother in Atlanta.
Thanks for keepingupwiththejonesrv!