How it went

This is Day 380 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are fine this evening, thanks.

As planned, we pulled up stakes and rolled out of last night’s campground at 8am on the dot. We battled commuter traffic for 30 miles, arriving at the diesel-service shop well ahead of our 9am appointment. Within an hour Ernie was moved into a waiting bay.

We whiled away our day in the shop’s “driver’s lounge,” comfortable if not posh, mostly just us, the dogs and a bagful of snacks and drinks that Deb raided from the bus. Out back, almost two dozen service bays all were occupied — mostly commercial trucks, big rigs and several motorhomes.

We were visited several times by the shop supervisor. An older fellow, the dirt under his fingernails showed that he’s a hands-on boss. His progress reports were plain-English, efficient and friendly.

Our only other company was an over-the-road trucker, a 38-year veteran of the trade whose diesel had suffered a catastrophic failure. He’d just finished paying off the truck, and now he’d have to take out a $20,000 loan against its value to get it repaired.

That’s called perspective, People.


The clock ticked past 4pm. Seven hours after we’d arrived it was clear that Ernie wouldn’t be finished today — I mean, even though the vast majority of the work was routine maintenance, this wasn’t some slap-dash 30-minute oil change.

Today they did a comprehensive multi-point check on the powertrain and chassis. They replaced every fluid and every filter. They chased down and repaired maddening wiring issues afflicting the brake and turn-signal circuits, and they fixed the windshield-washer system.

We also now know what the problem was with the fuel gauge, which always reads “full.” Repairs, however, would involve draining and dropping the 100-gallon tank to replace the electronic sending unit, and at great expense. That’s not gonna happen — we’ll gauge our fuel consumption by miles traveled, erring toward the conservative.

Tomorrow they’ll grease the chassis, replace the generator’s temperature sensor and install new washer nozzles on the wiper arms. Paying the bill will be painful, no doubt, but we’ll leave here with a coach that’s been attended to by professionals. And that’s why we’re here.

Now, where will we stay tonight?

In our own bed, of course, in Ernie — home is wherever we are. The shop manager pulled the coach out of the service department and backed it up to a 30A pedestal in front of the shop. We have plenty of propane and fresh water, and our holding tanks are empty. We’ll be just fine.

Actually, it’s outrageously cool.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath