Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fan clutch

7AM - Fan clutch
As I wrote to you in yesterday's post, this morning MsTioga is returning to the Ford dealer in the City of Tepic. Yesterday after the engine thermostat was replaced, the cooling system was tested. The results of that test found that the engine temperature was still overheated. The mechanic and I could easily see that the fan clutch was not engaging.

 MsTioga will have her fan clutch replaced. In order to replace the fan clutch, the radiator must first be removed. Removal of the radiator is a major portion of the labor. So, other components of the cooling system that are still functioning, may also be replaced. Just behind the fan clutch is the water pump which will be changed out. Radiator hoses are pretty new, but may be replaced also.

8AM - What really is wrong?
MsTioga is now at Ford waiting for the service department to open. While driving here, it occurred to me that I really do not know for sure what is wrong with MsTioga's cooling system. I am just guessing. The problem could be the temperature gauge?

So, I am going to ask Carlos Perez, the service department manager, for help with this question. Carlos has been the service manager here for many years. It has been my experience that Carlos is very good with questions like these.

10AM - Engine running normal now!
The engine is running at a normal temperature now. This is a good example of problems that only happen intermittently! How do I make a decision when the problem has disappeared?

I believe that I am being forced to do nothing until the overheating problem returns. Until then, MsTioga and I will be watching and waiting.

11AM - Forum Mall
We are at the large indoor, "Forum Mall". There are a lot of shops and restaurants here. Nice place to browse. Just before arriving at Forum Mall, MsTioga's propane tank was filled.

Engine temperature still staying on the cool side.



Location: City of Tepic
Elevation: 919 meters

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


7AM - Tepic
This morning MsTioga and The Team are heading up the hill to the City of Tepic. We have some shopping to do. We especially need to refill MsTioga's propane tank.

There is some thinking about staying in Tepic for a few days because of the upcoming holiday. It sometimes gets pretty noisy near the beach when holidays arrive.

11AM - Engine overheating
As MsTioga was climbing the mountain to the City of Tepic, her engine temperature rose to very hot. MsTioga has been having an intermittent problem with overheating. Her cooling system does not leak. The radiator is filled with engine coolant.

We believe that the overheating problem is caused by a faulty thermostat. So, we have gone to the Ford dealer in Tepic to have the thermostat changed out.
SeƱorita Tioga in Ford Shop-Tepic

6PM - Engine still overheating!
The installation of a new engine thermostat is complete. However, the engine is still overheating. While the mechanic was checking out his work, I looked at the fan clutch using the mechanic's light. It appeared that although the engine was overheating, that the fan clutch was running slow!

This fan clutch observation means that it is very likely that the engine thermostat was operating correctly and that the overheating problem is likely caused by a faulty fan clutch. MsTioga will be returning to the Ford dealer in the morning to have the fan clutch replaced.

I am wondering if while having the fan clutch replaced, that the water pump should be replaced at the same time since the water pump is directly behind the fan clutch. I will ask the Ford service manager his opinion about the water pump.

The cost to replace the engine thermostat is $51US.

PS: Don't you believe that MsTioga has an extraordinary amount of engine cooling failures? Hmmmm?



Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Monday, October 29, 2012


7AM - The election
I've wondered long and hard how I should know for whom I should cast my vote. Because we only know what happened long after events occurred.

I recall as a boy reading about why the USA must fight the Korean War because of the Domino Theory. Same with the Vietnam War. Same with the Iraq War. We are told by our government the reasons for going to war. Is what we are told the truth?

Just recently I watched the movie, "Fair Game" based on the book of the same name by Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA covert operative who was outed for political reasons. There is a scene in this movie performed by actor Sean Penn portraying former Ambassador Joseph Wilson [Plame's husband]. This scene describes so well the dilemma faced by citizens trying to decide the truth. Citizens trying to decided for whom to cast their vote. Citizens trying to do their civic duty. 

It is my belief after a lifetime's worth of thinking on this subject, that who we vote for and the reasons for casting our vote are a crap shoot. We do not know. We can only guess. Because much of politics is a lie. Is deception. However, we cannot give up trying to know. We cannot give up searching for the truth. Demanding the truth.

There is a scene in the Fair Game movie which describes what I am writing about. Click [here] to view that scene.

A little cloudy


Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Sunday, October 28, 2012


8AM - Readers
We have not had readers call on us for several months. This is a bit unusual. But perhaps, easy to explain. MsTioga and The Team have been traveling outside of the usual places where tourists travel. So, we have not been near to where readers are located.

Yesterday afternoon Reader Ron came to call and we had a nice visit with him. We visited with Ron this morning too. After Ron left to continue his journey south, we realized that we miss having face-to-face contacts with our readers. But this should all change soon as the season arrives when tourists begin to travel into Mexico again.

6PM - AVG Anti-Virus Free edition
There has been some discussion in ShoutBox about which Anti-Virus software to use. We on the TiogaRV Team ONLY use AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition [link].



Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog subjects

9AM - Blogging subjects
When MsTioga and I began our journey, we decided that we should be able to be happy together no matter where our camp was located. For us, it is not our location that brings happiness and joy. Because happiness and joy comes from what is inside the heart of us.

This is exactly how we feel about subjects that we write about in our blog. This means that no matter what we are doing, there is always something to write about. All we have to do is find out what that something is and write a story about it.

That is why for us on the TiogaRV Team, there are no bad days. Because there is always something going on. Something to write about and share with you.

10AM - RV Refrigerators
Yesterday we posted about our Mr. Dometic refrigerator having problems keeping his cool. Some readers believed that Mr. Dometic may be in the process of failing.

As you may know, Mr. Dometic has a rebuilt cooling unit. We believe that this cooling unit is higher quality than the original cooling unit manufactured by Dometic. The place where cooling units usually fail is at the "Y" joint just above the propane flame. This joint is subject to expansion and contraction. If the welding in the "Y" joint is not done properly, the joint may crack causing the gas inside the cooling unit to leak out.

The little company that rebuilt our present cooling unit understands about welding quality. This company expertly rebuilt the cooling unit and paid special attention to rebuilding the "Y" joint. For this reason, we believe that our Mr. Dometic will not fail.

You may read about Mr. Dometic's cooling unit repair by clicking [here].

4PM - Reader Ron
David from El Chaco called out to me that there was someone here wanting to visit. It was Reader Ron who lives in Juneau, Alaska and also in Boca de Tomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico.

Ron has been a reader for several years and wanted to meet the TiogaRV Team!
Reader Ron and Mr. Max

Partly cloudy


Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Friday, October 26, 2012


8AM - Refrigerator overheating
The days here at El Chaco during October have started out with a temperature in the low 80s°F. However, during the afternoons the temperature rises to the mid 90s°F. Mr. Dometic, our hardworking refrigerator is not able to keep up with this heat and his inside temp has gone over 50°F almost every afternoon. This causes food inside the fridge to go bad.

After much thinking about what to do, we decided to move MsTioga to the concrete pad behind El Chaco's swimming pool. There are a lot of palm trees growing there. The idea is that the shade from the palm trees may provide enough relief to help Mr. Dometic keep his cool. There is no shade in El Chaco's RV area.
MsTioga behind the swimming pool

3PM - Fridge report
Because MsTioga stayed in the shade of the palm trees, Mr.Dometic did not overheat. We just checked the inside temperature, and it was 43°F.

Absorption type refrigerators are somewhat inefficient and do not perform well in high ambient temperatures. Mr. Dometic is doing extremely well under these conditions. We do not believe that Mr. Dometic is going to fail.

Partly cloudy


Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Thursday, October 25, 2012


9AM - Big bird
A big bird lives at El Chaco. I've never seen this bird fly. The bird only walks. But never walks very fast. Nearly every morning as I walk to El Chaco's restaurant, this bird spots me and walks alongside me staying about 10 feet away.

The bird likes to look at itself in reflections. There is a door to El Chaco's office that is like a mirror, and this big bird likes to hang out at that door looking at its image.

The bird has be-friended a black dog. When this dog is around, the bird often is seen following behind. The dog does not pay too much attention to this bird.
El Chaco's big bird

Partly cloudy


Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


10AM - Payday!
The 4th Wednesday of each month is payday for the TiogaRV Team. It may seem weird. But even after all of these years have gone by, we still get excited about receiving our pay.

As you may know, we receive two paychecks. One for $1,173 from Social Security. And the other from Google which has been averaging $850 per month. Not a huge amount of income. But enough to pay for all of our bills. And that is quite enough. This month our income is $1,100 more than expenses. That big margin is due to the cost of rent at El Chaco being very low. Also, since we are not traveling the cost for gasoline is very low too!

When my Son David died, we received a life insurance payment that has provided a great deal of security. However, we have not used any of that money for expenses. Just makes us feel comfortable.

3PM - San Blas for supper
After watching a couple of movies on Netflix, we are now heading up to San Blas for supper. El Chaco's restaurant is closed for the day. So we cannot eat here.

The restaurant that was chosen for supper is called, "La Parillada". I bought three tacos de carne asada and a bottle of Pepsi which cost 48 pesos [$3.80US].

La Parillada is across from the central plaza of San Blas. It is the building painted orange.
La Parillada Restaurant

5:30PM - Sunset at El Chaco
When MsTioga returned to our camp at El Chaco, the Sun was close to setting. New Mavicita went outside to capture the Sun as it was setting into the clouds above the Pacific Ocean.
Sunset at El Chaco

Partly cloudy


Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


10AM - Playa de Matanchen
In Spanish the word "playa" means beach. Where we are at El Chaco is along Playa de Matanchen. This is a swell place. El Chaco has a very nice restaurant that prepares food fresh. No pre-cooking as is done by some other restaurants.

Next door to El Chaco is "Paraiso Escondido Restaurant" [Hidden Paradise]. The restaurant at Paraiso Escondido is good also. So, we have two restaurants to choose from while camping at El Chaco.

The Pueblo of Aticama is less than one mile away to the south. This means that little grocery stores and more restaurants are less than one mile away. The City of San Blas is seven miles to the north with even more stores and restaurants. The very large City of Tepic is about 1-1/2 hours away to the southeast where large stores such as WalMart and Soriana are located.

We wanted to describe our camping spot at El Chaco a bit more so that you would understand why we like it here so much.
Jorge at the pool - El Chaco



Location: El Chaco RV Park
Elevation: 15 meters