Steve has been working diligently on the motorhome, so we could take it for the weekend to Beaver Dam on Friday, then on to Shopiere and Beloit for Saturday and Sunday. We are lucky that the entire king sized bed lifts up to give ample access to the engine compartment. We are even MORE lucky that Steveio is able to work on our engine himself. I am the gopher for parts and holding the flashlight.
By looking at the motor while the engine was running, he could see where the water had been leaking during our whole drive home from Florida (we had to stop every 100 miles and add a few gallons of water) .... Upon observation, he had diagnosed that the water pump was only leaking at the gasket, and fortunately not out the end of the seal or the bearing etc.
- He first removed the belt.
- He pulled off the alternator,
- then he pulled off the air conditioner pump,
- next the waterpump's tension pulley
- now the fan belt tension pulley.
Yup, all that just to get to the water pump!
DANGNABBIT! There was a leak! A small tiny bead of water kept appearing on the top side of the water pump. We looked all over for a leaking hose above it, around it, under it... heck... NO hoses leaking anywhere. Where was it coming from? The bead of water would just appear on the metal case of the water pump. The new gasket was fine all around, the o-rings were holding fine. The leak wasn't coming from that area at all. I dabbed it all with a clean fresh piece of paper towel and watched it close. Another bead of water appeared in it's place. Sure enough.. there was a TINY crack right in the curve of the outer cover of the water pump!!! You couldn't even see it with your eyes, but it was leaking a bit at a time... drip drip drip!
Pull the thing allll apart again, yup... all five of those steps again. The only good part is all the bolts and nuts are nice and easy now to remove compared to the first time?
This is the water pump cover:
and THIS is the tiny crack!~!
Well, it was another trip for me back up to Fabick Cat in Green Bay. I do the runs for parts because Steve works 8-4 Mon-Fri and unable to go for parts. That makes it My job! Luckily they had the part in stock! Amazing for an engine that is now 20 years old! PS we also just got our Collector Plates for the motorhome, as it qualifies for them now. We don't have to pay for plates now for the rest of the time we own the motorhome. Just not allowed to operate it during the month of January with a Collector Plate.
Thursday evening Steveio got the water pump with the new cover put back together, then did all five steps again to reassemble things. We filled it up with plain water to do a test. YAYYYYY it held! No leaks! We even slid cardboard underneath (my idea) to make double sure it was not leaking.
He drained out the plain water and then put a mix of distilled water and the long life coolant (known as ELC) which runs about $80 but is good for a long long time! Hopefully as long as we own the rig?
I loaded up the rig and we started up the fridge and brought on board enough food and stuff for the weekend. We had made plans for Friday with our friend Connie, then Saturday with our friend Juanita, and Sunday with our friends Jim and Norma. Now we were able to keep our commitments.
Friday morning we got up early and headed out in the rig after tossing in the dogs and our coffee cups. Steve had taken a day of vacation so I could do the once-a-year warehouse shopping with my friend Connie at the Nancy's Notions Warehouse Sale in Beaver Dam, WI. It's only 60 miles away, and we arrived at the edge of town in an hour or so.
Quilters had been there all week taking classes and listening to programs and taking part in workshops and events. I was not attending any of those, I just came for the bargains.
We parked the rig at the local Walmart a mile away and set about making some breakfast and putting a few things away that we tossed in at the last minute. Steve unhooked the Tracker and brought me over to the Nancy's Notions location for 10:30 to meet with friend Connie. She had been in a class until 10:30 and we were going to meet up to shop the warehouse sale together!
Steve dropped me off right at the door, because the parking was at a premium around the warehouse location. They had parking in far off lots, and shuttle buses running with all these quilting gals coming and going. A few guys popped up here and there, but it mostly women as far as the eye could see inside.
Connie and I connected at the door (aren't cell phones great for locating people in crowds?) We enjoyed watching demonstrations of new machines, cool tools, and great new ideas that have come to the sewing world. There were some good bargains on needles, fabrics, books and supplies. We roamed up and down the aisles, filling our arms with goodies. Finding some things we never thought about before, and learning along the way.
Then, we happened to meet Nancy Zieman herself! She is the famous lady of the quilting shows on PBS Sewing With Nancy... We chatted a bit and shared a story of teaching grandchildren to sew. Said it's our job as grandmothers now to do that with the lack of home-ec classes in schools and cuts in budgets for children's education. I told her I have coffee with her every morning at 9 am on the tv in front of my sewing machine in my sewing room! LOL... she graciously posed for a "selfie" with me. It was kinda close up, so she grabbed a passing shopper, handed her my phone and asked for a nicer one from a bit further back. Ahhhh I am so star struck meeting a famous quilter who took the time to talk to ME!
Nancy has battled various health issues throughout her life, and now recently is recovering from bone-cancer and been rendered cancer free. She has a "bionic leg" as she calls it and is healing well and getting out and about. She is quite a lady and has a lot of get up and go. She is admired by many for all that she has taken on and growing a successful business.
This is from the Sewing With Nancy website:
Founded in 1979 by Nancy Zieman, the company has grown from one-woman, mail-order operation (working off a kitchen table) to a multi-channel organization that:
- Ships more than 300,000 packages per year to customers around the world
- Hosts educational events that draw enthusiasts from across the country to its flagship retail store
- Produces the most popular sewing, how-to program on public television
- Develops and introduces new books, patterns, embroidery design collections, and sewing supplies each year under the Sewing With Nancy brand
After we had shopped till we just about dropped (and blew all my budgeted money) ... Connie drove us in her car back to the motorhome at the Walmart lot. Steveio and the dogs were patiently waiting. Connie had a cooler packed up with an already prepared meal for us... and we fired up the generator to heat it up in the convection oven/microwave. She had a great dish of homemade chicken stroganoff, then some sweet corn she had cut off the cob last fall. She baked it in the oven and then froze it to preserve it. She topped off our meal with her homemade applesauce for dessert! It was such a nice way to settle down after all of our shopping. Much better than running out for fast food restaurant stuff.
I forgot to take a pic of us or the food... so you will have to take my word for it, it was great!
We did our hugs goodbye and she went on her way to a family obligation. Steve and I hooked up the Tracker to the back of the motorhome, did our safety checks, started the tire pressure monitor system and hit the road....
NEXT STOP ---
and MORE motorhome problems!!!