Sunday, April 19, 2015

My ears are popping!

Partly cloudy skies greeted us Saturday morning

For the past 2 months we have been living at elevation ranging from 3,500' (Cottonwood) to Flagstaff (7,100') and on real Saturday we dropped over 5,000' feet in elevation in one day!  We went from 50 degree daytime temps, and sub 30 degree overnight lows to 90 degree daytime temps and 52 overnight lows......I slept with the window open last night!

Of course, I get somewhat ahead of myself....what did real Saturday look like from the beginning?

I was up before 6 (about the time I heard the percolator begin to perk) writing my blog and sipping my cup of  'Jo'.  The scene (above) that greeted me was quite different than the prior day.  Our goal was to be on the road before 8 am (AST) and we were successfully motivating down the road by 7:40 am!  I wanted an early start as we had to do the 6 mile, 6% grade out of the Verde Valley and I like to make the big climbs when it is still cool outside.  

Just south of Flagstaff on I-17 is the beginning of one of the longest downhill stretches we have done in our journeys at 18 miles of 5-6% grades.  We spent half our driving time to Wittmann 'jaking' at zero throttle.

We hit the Verde Valley grade about 8:30 and the Detroit Diesel climbed the 6 mile, 6% grade with nary a hiccup.  We took a break at the rest area about 20 miles north of New River to change into our street clothes....when I get on the road that early I usually drive for a few hours in my pajamas.......just more comfortable!

We were in Wittmann by 11 am (AST) and parked in our new full hookup site at Tom and Darlene's home next to the just completed 'garage'.  We are officially the first ones to use this site.....we have water, 50 amp electrical service, sewer, very good WiFi, and most important of all......8 days to spend with very good friends.

 Our 'digs' for the next 8 days

While TLE went inside to start work on making an enormous amount of salsa I set about setting up our 'camp'.  Haven't used our patio awning for quite a while, but with the sun on the passenger side of the rig all day long we'll need the shade.

Tom and I drove into Wickenburg to visit the 'Tractor Supply' store.....every time I have ever been in a 'Tractor Supply' store I have bought something....without exception.....and this day was no exception.

I like it.....

Just so you know I'm not the only one who liked this hat.....Tom bought one too....:-)

On our way back home Tom suggested we roll the VW out of the trailer and take a run at fixing it.  Our new VW fuel pump along with sending unit and new rubber gasket arrived Thursday via Amazon cost for pump, sending unit and gasket......$85 shipped.....VW's price for the pump....$250, plus $50 for the sending unit, and another $25 for the gasket.....typical nationwide price to remove and replace the fuel pump (parts/labor) on a 2001 VW Bug....$500 plus.  

On advice from good friend Michael Kuper (Flying the Koop) we first checked the plug that sends power to the fuel pump to be sure it was getting power, and it was, so we did not have to go to step 2 which was to check the viability of the relay.  Before proceeding to step 3 we watched a YouTube video Tom had found that tells exactly how to change the's not a long video, so click on it to see how easy it is, and why I decided to do it myself.

After watching the video we began the process of first removing the bad fuel pump, then installing the new one.  There is only room for one person in the back seat so Tom watched through the open hatch giving encouragement and advice while I did the work.  Within an hour the new pump was installed.  Now the moment of truth.......when it comes to stuff like this my confidence level is pretty low, but every time I take on a task such as this and succeed I am that much more emboldened to take on the next one.....I sat down in the driver's seat, depressed the clutch pedal and turned the ignition key......I could hear the fuel pump begin pressurizing......then continued turning the key and she fired right up!  With the encouragement of Tom and TLE I saved our financial coffers over $500 by doing this myself.....YAY for our team!

Darlene had purchased some steaks for our real Saturday dinner, so Tom and I pulled out his large BBQ so I could do the honors.  We had a great dinner and conversation, as we always do, and then headed back to our home on wheels for the evening about 8:30.....I was asleep in my lounge chair by 9.....woke up about 10:30 and went to bed dreaming sweet dreams.....

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wish the pump on my F-150 was that easy to change. You have to either drop the tank or raise the bed off the frame to change it.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Clarke. Glad to hear the fuel pump worked out fine.


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