Monday, February 9
The Perfect Tow Vehicle drops off Interstate-8 at Avenue 3E in Yuma, towing the Best Little Trailer and carrying us right, left, left, and right to Sun Bum RV.
It’s 8:45 a.m. Perfect. Just enough time to walk the punkin around before the service appointment.
After a short wait, her husband Rob arrives and we go outside to the BLT. I explain that the refrigerator stopped cooling in the lower compartment, while the freezer continued to work fine. I tell him that I adjusted the thermistor that was hanging off the fins and cleaned the outside area which helped.
Rob nods his head. “That would help.”
“I’ve been running it since I bought it new in August of 2011. I figure it could use a cleaning and some service.”
Rob opens up the two outside compartments.
While I mention some of the things I’d like checked, he proceeds to open up the ignition area. I tell Rob I’d like to learn what he is doing while he is doing it. He explains each step.
“See that right there? It’s supposed to be at three-sixteenths of an inch.” He adjusts it.
Then Rob taps the line and flakes come out. (I know, I’m vague. Think of it as a puzzle, okay? This is all new to me.)
Next Rob pulls this black boxy-thingy (my term, not Rob’s) open and does something inside, which I forget. I do know he checked the heating element at some point.
“Do you mind if I go inside and open up your stove? I’d be better to check it there, rather than open up the lines here and risk making a leak.”
While Rob lifts up the stove top and prepares to measure with the gauge, he informs me that optimum pressure is 11.00 water columns.
According to Wikipedia, a water column is defined as “the pressure exerted by a column of water of 1 inch in height at defined conditions. For example, 39 °F (4 °C) at the standard acceleration of gravity; 1 inAq is approximately equal to 249 pascals at 0 °C.”
Anyway . . . All we need to know is the gauge reads 8.5 water columns of propane pressure and what we want it to read is around 11.0 water columns.
Rob goes into the shop for a minute.
Patsy comes out with a wrench and a new Automatic Change-over Regulator. I pull off the hood that covers the two propane tanks.
She picks up the joke and laughs. “No, it doesn’t,” she replies.
“Oh, so that’s why it’s called an Automatic Change-Over Regulator. Because that’s what it doesn”t do. This mechanical stuff is SO HARD. The parts have sarcastic names.”
Here’s the brand new Automatic Change-Over Regulator.
Actually I’m being unfair. Rob takes over at the part where the threads on the line need to be wrapped with teflon tape in order to prevent leaks. He squirts something from a can on the wrapped threads and detects a leak on one of the fittings. He re-wraps that one and it doesn’t leak.
I ask Rob if these regulators usually last around three to four years.
“It depends upon the propane. Oil in the propane will gunk these things up.”
Now for the test . . . .
Rob goes back to the stove with his gauge. He holds it up for me to read.
During the above procedures, other items are discussed. Rob notices the switch for the refrigerator fan, as well as the fan’s thermostat inside the outside compartment. I tell him the thermostat has never operated. I turn the fan on and off manually.
Rob explains his personal experience with a refrigerator fan.
He installed one on his fifth wheel’s fridge. He took measurements.
“It didn’t make any difference as far as cooling or speed of cooling,” he remarks.
At $100 an hour, I’m not interested in having the fan’s thermostat fooled with.
Here’s the bill . . .
Regulator: $52.99, Labor: $75.00, Shop Supplies: $5.00, Tax: $4.46.
Total bill: $137.45.
I’m happy. I feel good about the new regulator, even if it doesn’t automatically change over. And I feel good that the fridge is in fine shape again.
I recommend Sun Bum RV for service and repair!
Bridget is also happy.
“You were a good little girl, waiting all this time. Now we can get out of Yuma and find our next camp!”
Before boarding the interstate, I stop at a Giants station to top off the PTV’s tanks with Arizona-priced gas @ $2.19 a gallon. (A few days before I bought gas at Love’s Travel Center in Yuma for $2.09 a gallon.)
Bridget and I motor across the desert, heading west/northwest to camp at the Salton Sea.
Since the “sea” is southwest of our camp, the afternoon sun shines into the lens. I wait until sunset to take the photos you see here. Bridget has a grand time exploring in the cool air, after a very warm day on the road.
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