Thursday, September 6, 2018

More Trip Prep

The days are getting shorter and shorter. I just noticed that sunset is before 9pm and the low temperature for Saturday is forecast to be freezing. It looks like it's time to leave the state. At least for a while.

I generally follow the Schedule "B" service intervals on the truck, a 2005 5.9 liter CTD (Cummins turbo diesel). This is recommended for frequent short trips, towing, temperatures below 32°F, or other "severe" use. It looks like I qualify on several counts. This means oil changes at 7,500 miles, oil and fuel filters every 15,000 miles, and coolant every 100,000 miles.

I've been putting the fuel filter replacement task off all summer since it was a real mess the last time I did it myself. This time, no mess at all. I guess I must be learning something. The fuel filter is a cartridge in a clear plastic housing. You first drain the filter housing using the provided water drain valve, then using a 6-pointed socket you remove the plastic top of the housing. The 6-pointed socket is to prevent damage to the plastic "nut" on the top of the housing. The filter is clipped into the bottom of the plastic top. Replace the filter and the "O"-ring which is included with the fuel filter if you get a good filter. Last time, I picked a filter up at the local auto parts store and it didn't clip into the top nor did it include the "O"-ring or the rubber gasket at the bottom of the filter. These had to be scavenged from the old filter. Hence, the mess. This time, I picked up a Fleetguard filter from the local Cummins shop. The whole job was maybe ten minutes. The engine needed to crank for a bit to allow the filter housing to refill. The moral of the story is don't buy filters at the local auto parts store.

The oil change was a simple job. The system holds 12 quarts and I drain the oil directly into gallon jugs for disposal using a 1/4 turn ball valve that I installed back in 2005 at the first oil change. Almost 12 quarts drained out except for maybe 1 cup. Essentially, no oil consumption since the last oil change. The new oil filter is also a Fleetgaurd item that I picked up at the same time as the fuel filter.

I will pick up another fuel and oil filter to have with me on the trip. Back around 1996, I had a filter clog up on my 1991 Ford 7.3 liter diesel just about 2 miles from Watson Lake. I limped into town at about 10 mph, picked up a filter at the local Napa store and replaced it in the mall parking lot. After that, I started carrying spare filters.


  1. Sounds like you are well prepared for everything, Richard. When are you getting to hit the road. Time flies by and the days are getting shorter.

    1. We plan on leaving in a week. And giving ourselves about five days to get down to where the RV is stored.

  2. It's dark here in Estes Park by 8 pm now, and we've had low temps in the high 30s already...can't believe the summer went by so fast! Safe travels and I look forward to reading about your trip!