We’ve been home a week or two… I’m a great believer in momentum, so we are already planning what to do next.
Three things on the agenda…
1. Maintenance and repairs to the fuso after 7000+ miles of driving. We have a nagging fuel contamination issue that will probably mean dropping the tanks, and the subframe is sagging pretty badly on the driver side… So that means that the Bigfoot will have to come off again to assess the issue and repair/reinforce.
2. Evaluate other camper box options. Earthcruiser, All Terrain Warriors, and Global Expedition Vehicles all make a Lifting roof Fuso box and XP Camper is kicking around ideas to make one. I have a crew cab Fuso that we are working on converting to 4×4 that could be the platform for this new vehicle.
3. Plan the next trip. We’re going to spend the month of September 2014 in Guatemala doing Spanish language immersion and learning about the Mayan culture. Not every trip needs to be by land, this time we will fly in and fly out. We’ve signed up with Corazon Maya Spanish School which is in San Pedro La Laguna on the shore of Lake Atitlan. The school has bungalows for rent so we’ve decided to do that rather than stay with a family – figuring that for a month stay it will be nice to have our own place to retreat to.
After a great trip to the Black Rock Desert (which we had not been to in many years) with our good friends Barry and Lori Ellis, We are spending two night at their great mountain house just outside of Lake Tahoe.
(See Emily’s posts for Black Rock Desert, here are some of them) May 3 May 2
Robinson’s onboard air system had developed a leak. We have an Extreme Outback Air Compressor which has given good service in tough conditions – but the main airline from the air tank to the distribution block had developed a leak and had to be replaced. As is often the case, this was a 30 minute repair, but required unloading the motorcycle from the garage and removing the garage floor plate to get access to the compressor… so it was a half day job. I bought some high quality rubber airline as we passed through Reno yesterday at Home Depot, so had what I needed to make the repair. I had a splice, but the line was pretty old and stiff so I decided it was a better choice to replace it.
Barry helped me clean the compressor air filter using Simple Green APC and K&N Filter Oil. I really need to replace the filter, but that wasn’t an option.
I also helped Barry re-grease the Superwinch X9 on his Discovery 2. The winch had been giving him good service but had been getting noisy – we pulled it apart and the remaining grease was either dried out or dirty – we cleaned everything with mineral spirits, re-greased and re-assembled. Should be good for another 6 years.
Next weekend we are heading out west for another month+ of travels.
I noticed a leak under the Bigfoot and diagnosed it as a faulty gray water pipe. There is an over four foot unsupported length between the gray water tank and the drain valve, meaning it is always full of water and bounces up and down as you go down the road. Over the years it had weakened and finally developed what was a 5 inch crack.
Only a 15 minute repair
The only problem was that I had to take the Bigfoot off of the service body to fix it. That’s a day to take it off and a day to put it back on.
While I had the Bigfoot off of the service body, I gave everything that is normally hidden a good once-over. I found a crack in the sub-frame at the front driver-side attachment point.
This of course meant a full-stop on plans until fixed. A few days and $200 later, this is what it looks like- it’s not going to break there again!
Categories: Prep, Repairs