Friday, November 22, 2019

Day 12, 13 - Tucson, AK

Thursday -  Still in Tucson, still at the motel, and the rv is still in the shop. This afternoon, I stopped by the shop to see how things were going and was told that they were just starting to put everything back together. The radiator was cleaned inside and out. The fins of the charge air cooler (intercooler) were cleaned and the regulators (thermostats) were replaced. I wonder why Caterpillar chose the odd terms. They just need to fill the cooling system with twelve quarts of coolant, purge the air out of the system, and take it for a test drive. I’m optimistic.

The mechanic also said that he will turn the automatic transmission cooling lines and zip tie them up so they are not aimed at the ground. A little more clearance would be good. He was wondering how all that stuff got between the radiator and the intercooler as there is a rubber flap around the perimeter. They work on a lot of rear engine buses for the city and they all have side radiators to avoid this particular problem.

Otherwise, I didn’t do much of anything today. We can’t leave the animals in the room so Bridget has been picking up prepared food from Denny’s, which is in the parking lot, or today’s lunch from Sprouts. At least there is free WiFi at the hotel and it’s reasonably fast. About 5 down and 2 up. Or fast enough that my iPad and phone update iOS and all of the apps…

Friday, 11am - We are back to the shop, RWC Group in South Tucson, and the rig was sitting near the entrance. It was completed but had not yet been test driven. The driver mentioned that he was headed for AZ-83 east of here up into the mountains. The parts cost for this visit is pretty minimal and mostly labor. The driver stopped and asked about the smoke. I guess they ticket for excess smoke in AZ. I explained that it was only after a cold start. And he took off again. By the time he hit the intersection leaving the shop, the smoke was gone.
2:30 - It’s looking good! We are gone about an hour west of Tucson with some mild grades and averaging about 65mph. The water temperature never budged above ~190°F. Before, even some mild 2% grades required me to slow down and downshift.

6:00 - We are now at Ajo, AZ, about 30 min north of Organ Pipes Natl’ Monument. No issues!


  1. Congrats on the overheating issue being resolved! Glad they rerouted the transmission coolant lines too....going to try boondocking at Organ Pipes Cactus National Monument?

    1. All it takes is money with an RV…

      The mechanic couldn’t get the transmission lines loose. He felt that any more torque would shear the fittings so they weren’t moved. Not going to try boondocking at Organ Pipes Natl’ Monument but we will be spending Thanksgiving in Quartzite.

  2. On the road again... keeping fingers crossed, that the issue has been resolved.