Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Pettytown, Texas, US of A
Engine: 345 IH gas
Rated Cap: 66 passenger
Don't you just hate it when.....
Here is a little story for you guys to enjoy so you can look forward to your adventures in your beloved "skoolie."
Let's start with some details........
I am an anal detail oriented person.
I test run my ideas thru various scenarios, situations, trials, tribulations and real world testing.
Test it, check it, check it again.....
Following the above methods can be amusing at least and darn frustrating at times.....
OK, so the damned gas guage don't work.......and doesn't seem to respond to any form of massaging, troubleshooting, testing, etc. The sender, gage and wiring seem to not work. NOT JUST ONE - not a single one! So, being of the above mentioned mentality, lets just wing it!
I have been taking test runs in the the Flying Pig for the last couple of months including a couple of one, two and three day and night stays in some various locations. During these runs, I agressively log miles, gallons consumed, etc. (remember the anal part....) to the point that I was parking in as close to exactly the same spot at the same gas station to get consistent fill levels, but only went to locations within 120 miles of home base. You know, shakeout runs to check systems, test this and that, get that "GOOD TO GO" feeling, the "WARM FUZZY" about reliability and road worthiness.
OK, so now we have that "WARM FUZZY COMFORTABLE" feeling about the bus, so it's time to take her a little further from home. I looked at the gas tank on the bus and stamped right there on the little permanently affixed metal tag that the tank has a 75 gallon capacity. After figuring the gas milage over the last trips running the genset the whole time, I had figured that the capacity would easily make it out to the destination, spend a day, then come back with gas to spare. I filled the tank, loaded the bus, put in some team members and headed out.
Insert Starwars or Star Trek theme music here....AS WE BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS EVER......
Right about here, the REAL fun begins kiddies.....
We made it to the Paintball tourney location on Sat evening, I settled in while the team walked the fields, setup our staging area, and generally got ready for the tournament on the next day. Everybody slept in 65 degree temps in the bus while it was pretty darned hot oustide. We awoke the next morning rested and ready to get down to business. I made coffee while they did final preperations, signup and bought LOTS of paint. The bus proved a popular stopping spot for my two teams playing in the tourney and a quite a few others suffering near heat stroke in the Texas heat! It was hot and humid enough that a few teams used the front for paint storage to keep it from turning into marshmellows and bouncing off everything it hit. I broke out the Road Trip grill at lunch break and had lots of folks down wind drooling.....
The Rookie team didn't make finals, but the Novice team did!
With the rookies cheering, the novs finished the day in 3rd, but kept the series point lead by a good margin. They packed everything up and waited for the rest of the brackets to finish. After the award ceremony, we loaded up and went our seperate ways. This proved to be a downfalling, we went one way (IH10) and the rest of the teams went another (US290). I told the riders in the bus with me that if the AC stopped, the genset had stopped, but there was still enough gas to go about 50 or so miles, so listen and if it stopped, be sure to let me know. They promptly fell asleep.
We were crusing on down the road and were about 60 miles from the house, but more importantly, exactly 28.6 miles (ain't those GPS's cool for crap like this) from the gas stop when the bus started running funny, slowed down, then died. Of course, it died about 200 yards from the rest stop exit.
I was stunned. This stuff ain't supposed to happen to a "numerically superior being," especially a self proclaimed anally oriented detail person like me.....but remember Murphy. He secretely hides in EVERYBODIES back pocket and really lives for moments like this!
After a call to the "Rescue Rangers" (my oldest son in this case) gas was delivered (after the exciting all expenses paid sit on the side of the road for a few hours fun). Oh yeah, the riders promptly fell asleep again while waiting!
We poured 15 gallons in and on the bus, my hands, my shoes and oh yeah, don't forget those damned fire ants that just happened to know EXACTLY where were going to stop and stand so they could attack me! Yeah, it ain't the smartest, most ethical thing to pour gas on ant mounds on the side of the highway but the frustration level was high at this point and those little bastages hurt (as did my pride)!
We primed the carb with a shot of gas and the old girl started on the second try and away we went with chase vehicle following. It's amazing how you think about the chase vehicle AFTER THE FACT. We drove onto the afore mentioned gas station and parked in the customary spot in the same position and started filling. And filling. And filling, then WAY BEFORE we reached anything close to the 65 to 70 gallons that the tank SHOULD HOLD (dadgum, the label said it would hold that much) the automatic pump handle clicked off. Must be a fluke, start filling and it promptly clicked off again. Wait, something is wrong. Looking in the fill neck, the tank was indeed full. Figuring how much gas we burned (there goes the math stuff again) and subtracting that from the amount we just poured into the bus, minus the fire ant treat, spillage, etc. the numbers didn't add up.
The "mathematical mind" went into underdrive as I mumbled "dumbass" to myself for not checking how much gas the tank ACTUALLY held and climbed aboard and drove towards home. The riders promptly fell asleep again in the cool comfort of the AC.....as I drove on home. We only arrived about 4 hours later than we expected, but we made it with no problems.
Oh well, at least it was an easy fix, although a little hard to take! Now it's time to add that additional 35 gallon tank OR fix the gage!
I hope you enjoyed this little story and hope to see you on the roads!
Oh, did I mention: I LOVE MY SKOOLIE!