It is official....insured, registered, and on the road. We took the bus for a drive today. If anyone has seen the movie 'RV' with Robin Williams you will understand why I am considering renaming my bus 'The big old rolling turd'.
We got about two blocks from our house when the bus decided to start lurching and cutting in and out. I tell you if there is anything in your bus that is not bolted down when this happens it will move...this includes the wife!!!
Everytime I pressed the gas pedal it would spring to life and lunge forward until I pressed a little further then it would cut out completely and lunge back. If I held the pedal still it would cycle between accelerating and decelerating. At one point I found that I had limited brakes because the engine had completely died. I also found that when this happens, if you are still moving you can 'push start' a bus, just pop the clutch!!! I got it into a parking lot, of course I didn't want to slow down too far in case the engine completely died so I hit the approach a little hard and sent the wife ass-over-teakettle again!
Once in the parking lot the engine died and refused to start again. We made it a grand total of about 5 blocks. Yay!!!
My wife closed all the drawers and cabinets, put the bed back together and decided to go get pizza from the store that we happened to park in front of. I got out and checked under the hood. I found a nice white frosty frozen propane converter and mixer. Somehow I had been pumping liquid propane past my converter and into the engine. That explains the cutting in and out...can we say FLOODED with propane!!!
After letting the parts 'melt', and after eating a nice warm pizza for lunch, which actually was kind of nice sitting in our bus with everything we need right there, I tried to start the engine again. Nothing...it would turn over but wouldn't fire up. So...I pulled the air filter off and manually moved the propane valve by hand to ensure it wasn't still frozen solid. I tried again and got it running. Yay!!!
This time I let the engine warm up before I tried to go anywhere. This helped. I found that the warmer the engine got the better it ran. We drove a few miles to get the hang of the bus. I ended up on a gravel road just on the edge of the city in a new development. The road had a fairly high bank and I knew that the bus was going to lean quite a bit in the turn. As we approached I said to my wife "This is gonna get tippy!" Well, she just about panicked.
It did lean, but not really as scary as my wife thought it was. It was one exciting trip for sure. We got it back home and parked. My wife now calls it 'the big old rolling turd'...
I found that the reason for the propane system freezing up was due insufficient coolant in the radiator leading to a big air pocket in the converter. Air does not transfer heat as well as coolant so the converter froze up and didn't 'convert' the liquid propane to vapor like it is supposed to. I added half a gallon of antifreeze and I still need to get another gallon. Those big radiators hold a LOT of coolant! I would have got pics but I was a little preoccupied at the time.
BTW - The movie 'RV' was filmed in Southern Alberta....I have camped in some of the exact same places shown in the movie. In fact, Robin Williams stayed at a hotel about a mile from my house when they were here. I really liked that red Flxible bus that was in the movie too. Liked it then and still think it is great!