Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bella's Surgery, etc.

We have been bothered by a 15 second long cranking issue for almost a year.  Right before Christmas last year, we were towed twice with a fuel pump issue.  A freightliner dealer in Tampa fixed her, kinda under the gun and for a small ransom.  It has taken her 15 seconds to turn over ever since.  That has been bothering us, so we decided to get Bella looked at by CAT in Clayton.  We brought her in on Sunday night, hoping we could get her back into the State Park for another week before leaving NC for good.  The CAT parking lot has two RV spots with water and 50 Amp - nice, for a parking lot.  It was well lit, with security cameras.  Gary slept with his Bursa next to his head.  It was quiet.

Monday morning she went into her bay, and they started the procedure.  Here she is with her hospital gown on:

Curious minds want to know what the procedure actually entails:

Rod was kind enough to explain everything, even taking us over to another engine to demonstrate further:

They did an cocoon-otomy, which was, unfortunately, not the problem:

It took a whole day to determine what the illness was, and the diagnosis was a faulty solenoid and bad HEUI pump [the same pump we had installed in Tampa last December].  This is the second re-manufactured part that has had to be replaced within a year.  More on that later.

Meanwhile, we let Pete do his job, kissing Bella good bye for a couple days.

Off to Mandy's, for a couple night's stays.  Joe had a company picnic and roast pig BBQ at Durant Park for his division, and we were invited.  They had kid activities like painting pumpkins and wild animals to pet.

Ainsley and her pumpkin

Just a Milk Snake, brave girl
And here is our beautiful daughter, Mandy:

After the bouncy house ritual, Gary and I drove past our old house in North Ridge Estates:  It looks pretty much the same except for the cars.  Sure glad we don't have that expense anymore...

The next evening it was Halloween Party night.  Gary had his cowboy outfit on, and Ainsley wore her NC State Cheerleading outfit.  It was her best friend, Rena's, party and they had gone all out:

The next day was the last day of the NC State Fair.  It was a gorgeous day in the low 80s and there was plenty to eat, drink and do!  Jack conquered his fear of heights and rode the largest ferris wheel at the fair with us.

Yep, that's a brave face!  He actually liked it when we stopped at the top.  We had our picture taken by a considerate person in the giant adirondack chair in a little spot in the garden area.

Joe and Jeff left for Michgan to go kill innocent little ducks and geese Tuesday at 3:30 am.  Crazy.

Later in the week, we went to Pullen Park in downtown Raleigh.  Richard Pullen founded History Pullen Park on March 22, 1887. Once farmland, Mr. Pullen donated the land as a gift to the City of Raleigh to be used as parkland.   Through his visions, Pullen Park became the first public park in North Carolina.  This is a special park for us, as during our dating period in 1991, Gary and I carved our initials P&G into this tree.  We looked and looked, but twenty some years disguised our small token of love.  Fortunately we are still able to remember, you know how that goes...

We rode the carousel and paddleboats, eating lunch at the cafe, and enjoying the last rose of indian summer:
 We left from there to pick up Bella who was all ready.  As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw her parked at the front door, and Pete was coming down the steps.  She sounded great, but when I went inside, she smelled terrible!  Unfortunately, Gary forgot to lock the fridge doors, and when Dave pulled around the corner, the door opened and a beer fell out and broke.  So we had a clean up job before we could leave.  Then, the bad news:  the bill.  Dave went through it with me.  I asked if the new pump was a remanufactured part, because I couldn't tell from the part number.  The answer was yes, which was supposed to be better than a new part.  Huh?  Well, the faulty parts are taken apart, fixed and tested before ending up back on the shelf, unlike a new part. Well, then, how come the last reman pump was faulty?  And do they make new parts intentionally faulty?  So, a reman part is supposed to be better than a new part?  Couldn't answer that one. 

At least the pump was under warranty, which helped a little.  The guys were great by taking us in for service right away, and apparently are always busy with RVs being the only place within miles that did work on RVs.  But, as always, you are at anyone's mercy when you can't fix it yourself. 

We drove separately back over to the fairgrounds which was re-opened to anyone as most of the carnies had left.  We chose a nice level spot near the back of the park, dropped anchor, and proceeded to clean the floors of beer and grease. I use a great carpet cleaner called Resolve Dual Spot Cleaner with Oxi Clean and it got all of the grease spots off the rug and the beer smell came up too.  Even though there were lots of floor covers, the guys don't really care.  We don't either, we want our engine to work great.  We used cherry scented ZEP hand cleaner for the grease on the steps, and that got it all.  Vaccuumed, then sat down for a cool drink. 

Friday Gary had a date with a bunch of old work buddies of his, so I did a little window shopping at the mall.  When he came to pick me up, he said Mesa was sick.  Oh, no.

I started her and pushed in the clutch which was really, really stiff.  We have 142,000 miles on her, and don't believe the clutch was ever replaced, s-o-o-o-o we limped over to Jeep and just as we pulled into the parking lot, she started squealing.  Of course it was Friday afternoon, and it would be Monday before they could get to her.  So we called our daughter, who came to pick us up and because her husband is away for 10 days hunting in Michigan, we got to use the new VW Jetta instead of the old huge Suburban.  It seems we're in the right place at the right time.

We had some dinner at the house, then headed for home.  Hurricane Sandy is on its way up the coast, so we were surprised to pull up to our house and notice a new neighbor!  As we got closer, we recognized a red Jeep - could it be Rick and Gail???  Yep!  We knocked on the door, but no answer.  Gary emailed Gail while I was working on the blog, and received the answer to come to Terri and Mike's spot for some blueberry pie.  It turns out that they and Dee and John (all RV-Dreamers) were evacuated from Cedar Point on the coast of NC because of the impending storm.  Well, we are having a mini Carolina Clan Rally!  Check Gypsy Turtles blog for photos of all eight of us in Mike's fifthwheel. 

Terri's blueberry pie was fabulous, thank you, Terri!  We ended staying way later than 'RV Midnight', which, according to John, is 9 pm.  I think it was close to 10:30 before we got home.  Sandy is supposed to hit us this weekend with wind, but not too much rain this far inland.  The major impact is expected further north, so we will see when we start heading down to South Carolina.  Maybe this will be a caravan event.

Sorry this is so long, but that's what happens when you're having fun with family.  More on the sagas of the Moores later (and hopefully not so long)!


  1. Wow you two have had a busy time!! Things have a way of working out. It was a good thing you didn't head to the beach and now you have started the CC party early:o))

    Safe Travels and see you soon!!!

  2. Looking forward to visiting with you more this week!

  3. how nice..glad bella is fixed....:)