June 13, 2015!
We made it all the way to Chicago from S. Louis (about 300 miles altogether) with Liz driving a chase car just behind me. She reports that we did not leave an obvious trail of parts, though maybe we did leave a trail of crumbling grey engine/generator insulating foam. Anyway, we have to remove all that foam, so no worries there!
The Wanderlodge gets a lot of attention everywhere we go. At the truckstop, it took me an extra 15 minutes to fill because people kept coming up to gawk and talk. It’s not a chore…we love meeting and talking to people, and the bus seems to be a people-magnet!!!!
Speaking of “Fill” that tank is BIG (and the mileage not so much). It will take awhile to get over the shock of those bills!
Learning all the systems is going to be challenging and fun! The Mechanic was VERY helpful, but only to a point. I think he got me up to speed on basic operating systems (and I still have to transfer that basic knowledge to Liz). I still feel like he pushed me out into the stream without telling me how to do much more than start the engine and where it is!!!! I try not to explore buttons and lights while driving since the most important thing is to keep it on the road. But there is a lot of exploring to do.
As to driving, it being “BIG.” is surely does not drive like a minivan. But it is also not difficult to drive and in fact I found it quite easy to maneuver backing up etc. That was a very pleasant surprise. It will not go faster than 65mph (except down hill) but who would want to. It is also quite loud inside…which may improve somewhat when we replace the aforementioned insulating foam. My guess is this is another use for the Bose headsets we have for long flights.
As of now, almost everything is working, and the bus is very driveable and usable. There is a short list of things to be fixed “urgently”
- There is a “Headlight Warning” Light and buzzer that sounds if lights are NOT ON when engine is running. It did not do this until after the first rest stop. No prob…. just leave the lights on when driving (probably safer anyway) but this is not referenced in the owner’s manual so I will need to figure out what it is telling me. Maybe just that there is a bad bulb (could we be that lucky?)
- There are several significant air leaks. No prob when engine is running, but very shortly thereafter there is no air for the door step or the generator slide ( or for anything else). Finding and fixing these probably just means listening for “hisssssss” and then finding the source and fixing. The mechanic said we will probably be doing some form of this forever!!! He recommended a small electric air compressor be piped in. An easy and cheap convenience to recover air pressure without firing up the engine!!!
- Speaking of the door step…the actuator leaks air badly (one of the above leaks?) and it is often not powerful enough to retract the step. The mechanic said these can often be disassembled and repaired…perhaps a bad o-ring or something.
- Several gauges seem non functional or intermittent (air pressure, generator water temp, etc.), Several others need recalibrating (DC voltage reads 4v high at all times). Others work magnificently! For example aircraft altimeter and compass are extremely accurate (never mind that both are obsolete having been replaced by free phone apps)
- The LP Gas leak detector/safety valve in the LP Valve Compartment itself leaks! Easy to replace, important to replace (or quite possible the bus goes boom when we fill the LP tank and start using the stove).
Its stuff like that! All stuff I can do (saves $$$). Liz and I are going to spend a couple full days each week working on it…me mostly under and Liz mostly inside I would think!
All the of the above is the long-winded way of describing that we are already enjoying the vehicle. Proof in these pics: