Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween accident

Halloween accident!
This morning Son Dave had a terrible Halloween accident. A large screw fell from the sky and went clean thru Dave's head! But strangely, Dave is still able to prepare breakfast, as you may see for yourself in the pic below!
Dave screwed by Halloween bolt!

1PM - MsTioga broken down!
We had just left an oil changing place where MsTioga had her oil changed. The engine starter seemed sluggish. I may have mentioned this engine starter problem before. Anyway, we pulled MsTioga over and I went to clean the cables that attach the engine battery.

On re-attaching the cables, the connection broke! Literally came away!! I did not know what the thing that broke was, and I phoned Son Dave for help. Dave suggested that I put a pic of this broken thing on the internet for possible identification by a Reader. So Mr. Datastorm went up to get us online.

While Mr. Datastorm was doing his thing, I looked for this unknown part in our Chilton Ford Manual. And guess what, there is a whole section on this same part!

It is called, "Starter Motor Solenoid Relay Switch".

When Mr. Datastorm was online, we looked for an AutoZone store and found one not too far away. Using our TracFone, we called AutoZone, and they have one of these things in stock! Man-O-Man!
Starter Motor Solenoid Relay Switch.


No map links while at Dave's Home.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Battery Isolator-Part #2

Battery Isolator-Part #2
Yesterday when I installed the new battery isolator, two wires connected to the center terminal fell away, their butt joints didn't hold. I could not see where these wires were formerly connected because they went down into a hard-to-reach part of the engine compartment.

This morning I was reading the electric schematic for the isolator, and see that one of the functions of this device is to connect the secondary battery to the engine starter. There is a "Auxiliary Start Switch " inside MsTioga which when depressed, trips the isolator allowing the secondary battery to power the engine starter. This "Auxiliary Start Switch " does not work now, probably because those two wires that fell away are not connected anymore.

I have a choice this morning. Whether to pay the auto electric shop to try and re-connect the isolator as it was before. Or, just let it go as-is. If as-is, then the secondary battery may be used to start the engine using a jumper cable. I hardly ever used the "button switch" in the past.

What to do?

8AM - Discount Auto Electric.
We had a Team Meeting, and it was decided to go make our appointment at Discount Auto Electric. The owner of the shop is Tony Mazzola and the mechanic is Enrique. Right after the shop opened, Tony told me to drive MsTioga up to begin the work.

It turns out that Enrique is from Mexico, in the State of Zacatecas. I know Zacatecas very well, and stayed there for about a month

Very quickly, Enrique figured out what I had done wrong in my electrical hook up. Now both batteries are receiving a charge from the alternator. And, I am able to use Auxiliary Start Switch if ever MsTioga's engine battery goes dead.

Cost of today's repair: $37.50US. Not a bad price for the USA!!
Mechanic Enrique from Zacatecas.

2PM - Son Dave's Home.
MsTioga and The Team have arrived at Son Dave's home in the City of Concord, California. Dave and his foster kids love Halloween. As you may see from the pic below, Halloween is special at Dave's Home [link].
Halloween at Dave's Home!

Lego fun at Dave's home!


No map links while at Dave's Home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Isolater broken

7AM - Isolator broken!
Lately MsTioga's engine starter has been sometimes sluggish. As if the engine battery is not fully charged. On inspection, a broken isolator switch was found. The connector that goes from the isolator to the ignition switch is wiggly, and the nut cannot be made tight.

We do not know if this isolator is the cause of the starting problems. So, we are going to shop for a new isolator to eliminate that concern.

Readers like MsTioga in California.
Lately our daily visitor count has been over 3,000 readers. Before MsTioga entered California, we were averaging about 2,500 readers per day.

What is it about California that you like soooooooo much? Hmmmm?

11AM - Traffic jam!
We found Sundown RV in Atwater, CA by searching on the internet. At Sundown we bought the isolator switch and filled MsTioga's propane tank.

Continuing north on Hwy #99, MsTioga came upon something that we do not see much anymore. A traffic jam!

We pulled off in the Town of Livingston, California and made a Breakfast Camp in order to give traffic a chance to clear up.
Traffic jam on Hwy #99.

2PM - Installed isolator.
We have arrived in the City of Modesto and installed the new isolator switch. However, I must have not wired the switch correctly, because the house battery is not receiving a charge current from the alternator.

We looked for an auto electric shop. We have an appointment to return here in the morning to straighten the wiring problem out.

5PM - Found electric diagram.
Sometime back, Fleetwood supplied me with an electric diagram of MsTioga's circuits. Looking at this diagram, I found where the mis-wired cable was located and attached it correctly. Now the house battery receives charge current from the alternator. But the emergency start switch is not working now.

So, in the morning, perhaps the auto electric shop may fix it all up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Exploring by wandering around

Exploring by wandering around!
We on the TiogaRV Team like to travel without doing much research about where we are going. MsTioga likes to explore by wandering around. We have stumbled on to glorious places this way. That's how we came to find the Pueblo of Santa Rosalia in Baja California del Sur where we spent three winters. And also how we found the Pueblo of Aticama and La Playa de Matanchen.

Could we have researched these places? Or is it only possible to find them by traveling short distances, and then curiously wandering around exploring?

10AM - Oracle of Aticama suggests!
This morning, Francisco Kohler [link] [aka Oracle of Aticama] suggested that I wander around the local Harbor Freight outlet here in the City of Fresno. So, I did! Too much stuff for my brain to absorb. Sure was a good wander though!

12 Noon - In-N-Out!
Is anybody able to resist going to an In-N-Out Burger for lunch? Those fries! Those buns!

We on the TiogaRV Team could not resist today.
In-N-Out Burger.

Note: The above In-N-Out post was made from the In-N-Out parking lot where we found WiFi access. Amazing how many WiFi access points there are available to us.

4PM - Tons of RVs on the move.
As we travel north on Hwy #99, we see tons of RVs on the move. Where are all of these RVers going?

We are in Chowchilla, California now. It sure is not T-shirt and short pants weather in Chowchilla. Only 64°F here. However, down in Mexico, in the Pueblo of Aticama right now, it is 86°F.

When will these RVers head to Mexico? Hmmmm?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Every Team Member is Essential

Every Team Member is Essential!
Every one of the TiogaRV Team Members is essential to our well being and happiness. Every single one! While Mr. Datastorm was out of order, we kept on, but it was not the same.

Now, thanks to our friend Steve O'Bosky, Datastorm dealer supreme, Mr. Datastorm is better than new. Better than ever!!

We have made a Blogging Camp at the National Forest Station along Hwy #180. Mr. Datastorm went up, found his Space Station, and is online at 65 Signal Quality. Very good!
TiogaRV Team - On the road again!

1PM - Reader Walter.
Friend and Reader Walter Barsam has followed the Adventures of Tioga and George for several years. Walter works at KSFN-TV in the City of Fresno. The last time we visited with Walter, was about three years ago.

Walter works in the engineering department. He gave me a tour of the station which has been greatly modernized since my last visit.
Walter Barsam and MsTioga.

5PM - Nite Camped in Fresno.
MsTioga traveled 51 miles today. No more moving along a maximum WARP speed. We are back to our normal daily journey. Searching for adventure and being on the road for only an hour or two each day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tweeking Mr. Datastorm

Tweaking Mr. Datastorm!
As you may have read in Steve O'Bosky's ShoutBox post, today Mr. Datastorm will be serviced to try and maximize his output. We on the TiogaRV Team want our Mr. Datastorm to be completely tweaked!

Steve is looking over all of Mr. Datastorm's backup parts and equipment in order to make sure that if anything breaks down, we have the stuff needed to do repairs on board MsTioga.

By the way, Mr. Datastorm wants you to know that we are making this morning's post using his system! And he wants you to know that he is feeling great to be working again!!

Where will MsTioga go next?
We had a Team Meeting this morning, and Mr. Wave6 our hardworking portable catalytic heater [link] asked a very good question!
Where will we be going after Mr. Datastorm is working fine again?

There was a BIG discussion! MsTioga has not been in the USA in almost two years and she would like to visit with family and friends. We will go north to visit Son Dave [link]. Then go south along the California coast visiting Son Joe, Uncle Seymour and Aunt Shirley and Cousin Jacky.

We also wish to visit our friends John & Mimi Porter who live in the San Diego area. And other friends who we may meet along the way.

2PM - Resting by the creek.
After Mr. Datastorm was all tweaked, Steve drove me around his property on a golf cart! Really! He did! The property is pretty large, and the golf cart took us way up around and high up the hill where the views were gorgeous.

Then we went down to the creek where there is a swing. After we talked for awhile, Steve went up to his trailer for a nap. I stayed on the swing and Little Mavicita snuck down and took a pic of me!
George on the swing at Steve's place.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Steve O'Bosky Day

Steve O'Bosky Day!
MsTioga and The Team have driven a long way in order to bring our Mr. Datastorm to be with friend and Datastorm dealer, Steve O'Bosky. When we meet Steve today in the City of Visalia, California, we will have driven 1,643 miles in nine days.

Of course it is Mr. Datastorm who is most excited about meeting Steve. Because Mr. Datastorm is getting his new transmitter from Steve! And other goodies too!

4PM - Changing out the transmitter.
It was another long mileage day for MsTioga. 230 miles. We are now in the Town of Miramonte, California. This is where Steve O'Bosky is living and where Mr. Datastorm is getting repaired.

Steve installed a new transmitter on to Mr. Datastorm's antenna. The old transmitter had one watt of power. This new transmitter has two watts!

As soon as the new 2-watt transmitter was installed, Mr. Datastorm was able to go online! Wow! Everybody on the TiogaRV Team is sooooooo happy for our Mr. Datastorm!
Steve on MsTioga's roof installing the new transmitter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do we need Datastorm

Do we need Datastorm?
We have received several emails and one ShoutBox post wondering, "Do we need Datastorm?" During this trip north, we seem to have easily found WiFi access and made our blog posts.

Yes! We do need our Mr. Datastorm. Although we are finding WiFi in cities and towns, often MsTioga and The Team do not make our Camps in populated places. Way out in the forests and deserts, for example. And also in Aticama and the gorgeous lake at Santa Maria del Oro.

We need Mr. Datastorm in order to be who we are, Vagabonders-Supreme!

One week on the road north.
This morning when MsTioga heads into the depths of the State of California, she will have been on the road one week. It was one week ago while we were in the City of Tepic, that we decided to return to the USA and get Mr. Datastorm fixed up.

This has been a challenging trip! Two times MsTioga has gone to a mechanic for repairs. Once to fix a leak in her dash air conditioner. And once to replace her busted water pump. To say nothing of moving along at maximum WARP speed!

MsTioga has never gone so far, so fast during any other trip! 1,234 miles in seven days. That's 176 miles per day [average]. We are sooooooo proud of MsTioga!

4PM - Pinon Hills.
MsTioga traveled 204 miles today. A bit more than we had planned. Mr. HP connected to WiFi in the desert Town of Pinon Hills. It is a poor connection, only 1-bar on the WiFi scale. So, we may move a bit to get a stronger signal. [Note: We moved 200 yards east and now we have a 4-bar signal!! ]

For supper tonite, the menu is fried chicken salad! We take a chicken breast, cut it up into chunks, bread and fry them. Then make a salad with 1000 island dressing. Love this stuff!

6:30PM - Looking for WiFi again.
Immediately after making our 4pm post, our WiFi connection evaporated! So, after eating supper, MsTioga wandered around in the gathering dusk while Mr. HP scanned the electronic horizon for a signal.

Several WiFi signals popped up, but none proved good. So, we continued wandering. About an hour later, we arrived in the City of Palmdale where we connected with the "It's A Grind Coffee House" WiFi. That's where we are now.

This story of looking for WiFi highlights the great value of having Mr. Datastorm on board when he is working. Early this afternoon we spotted a free State of California campground in the desert, and we wished to stay there for the nite. However, we were without any internet connection.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meeting Wanderwolf

Meeting Wanderwolf!
Yesterday, Reader Karen emailed telling that Reader Mike [aka Wanderwolf] is living here in the Town of Ajo where we are Camped. So, this morning we went over and knocked on Wanderwolf's door to say hi.

Mike is an artist, as you may see from the paintings all over his RV. The RV is named Wanderwolf [link].
Jorge and Mike with Wanderwolf.

10AM - Heading west!
MsTioga is heading west this morning. She figures that we might reach Steve O'Bosky's home sometime late Sunday afternoon. Steve is our Datastorm dealer who will be doing the repairs and upgrade of our Datastorm internet antenna.

5PM - MsTioga in California!
We crossed the Arizona border. MsTioga is in California in the desert Town of Blythe. We are Laundry Camped at the Country Wash & Dry. This is the first time we have washed clothes at an automatic laundry in many moons! Lavanderias in Mexico pay people to do our wash for us.