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Monday, August 20, 2012

Safari Work Day- Brake Fluid, U Joint Lube, and Leveler Jacks

I tell ya, you just can't keep a good man down... no matter what!

Steve and Mel decided to take care of a few motorhome maintenance tasks...

First, Paula had to get her "jugs" ....  
so the guys could suck out the old brake fluid and put in new.

Motorhome brake fluid should be changed yearly, if not every two years for safety.  Because of the long length of brake lines in motorhomes, with more connectors and fittings than in a car, there is more chance of intrusion of moisture.  And, of course, moisture means brake failure if it reaches a boiling temp in much-needed braking situations.   When draining out the old fluid, it's very brown and root-beerish looking, and you can easily see that it needs to be replaced completely with fresh fluid. Not just added at the reservior, but pulled completely through the lines.

Steveio has this nifty tool from Harbor Freight that utilizes an air compressor to remove the old brake fluid from the motorhome lines and at the same time, draw in the new fluid so there are not any air bubbles.   About $20.

Even with his bandaged knee, Steve still needs to move it and walk on it and get it going.  So he gingerly laid down and crawled under the rig to get going.

Paula and I did the "gophering" for the guys while Mel crawled up near the reservoir.  It was his job to pour in the new fluid as the level was sucked down through the lines.  Normally you can use the second device in the box to let the new fluid come into the reservoir on it's own, but we don't have much clearence under our Safari's to do that.  So it's easier to just have a second man pour it in while the first man uses the tool to draw it through the lines.

Starting at the back tires, each line gets refreshed with new fluid.

It took a little while, and I think the guys did more gabbing and looking around under the rig than actual working on the brake lines.  I think they were having a "Good Ole Boys" meeting under there!


After that, they decided to lube up the U-joints on Mel's rig, and later they will do the rest as they ran outta grease for the air powered grease gun.  Tomorrow is another day to do that.

Then they attacked a problem on our rig... the HWH levelers on our rig have hydraulic lines to each one.  One of our levelers has been rising up slowly a bit each day.  So Mel knew about three little valve type fittings that control each leveler.  They found out that the one was loose.  They tightened it up and seems to work fine now.

That was ENOUGH work for one day for these two guys.... we took away their tools and told them to SIT DOWN!  

Paula made up a fantastic meal of jambalaya, home baked loaf bread, and a big salad.   Of course we had the Billy Bob's Cherry Chocolate Cake for dessert.  Read my last blog post for the recipe:

Then Paula and I needed to relax a bit after helping these guys all day....   we opened up a bottle of  cranberry and cherry wine made by a friend of ours, Bill.  Bill bought all of Steve's winemaking supplies last year, and part of the deal was to have Steve help him with the first batch.  Steve even got credit on the bottle's label!

And a fine night of relaxation around Mel's propane firepit was enjoyed by all.....



  1. Boy, those guys sure are handy! Interesting to hear about the screws on the levelers. One of ours goes up really slowly too, it's a spring deal, but we'll have to check that out. Eldy uses silicone spray to lube the levelers after we've been sitting awhile. A great day in the life of a full timer!

  2. I can't believe Steve is already crawling under the motorhome and fixing stuff! I take it that his knee is healing nicely?

    1. Yes, Gypsy.. he is doing great. No swelling, took the bandage off today and showered (with celophane around the leg) and looking good. He has not taken a single pain pill either. The doc office just called. The more he walks on it and bends it now, the better it will heal.

  3. Great to hear that Steve is doing so well. Nothing seems to slow him down.

  4. Oh boy, that Stevio. I don't like to do that much work and my knee is not wrapped up!

    You cn't keep a good man down. ;c)

  5. Karen, you are such a failure at holding Steve down and making him slow up. LOL Good to see Steve going at it already, just shows you can't keep a good man down...no matter how much duct tape you use.

  6. So glad everything is going so well for Steve. Your rig is better than new!

  7. Oh wow, can't even get the get well wishes out...... And Steve is under the motorhome !!!!! Please check out Karen and Al's blog..... I kinda gave Steve a consulting job .....or at least tried too...... They need help !!!!!! I feel bad that the new truck toad they have was not fixed right by the place in Clearwater..... Any suggestions you could pass on to them while you are relaxing with your "first batch" wine samples ??? First fire of the season !!!!! Glad the R&R is going sooooooooo well !!!!!


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