It’s Saturday, the 17th of April, Day 390 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are well.

When Deb and I started looking for a pre-owned motorhome last fall, we knew we wanted a Class A diesel pusher. She’d had Class A gassers in her childhood and in a previous married life, but this time she wanted the performance advantages of a diesel, as well as the relative quiet of not having the engine underfoot while underway. Ernie filled the bill.

It’s the first diesel-powered vehicle either of us has ever owned, and we’re totally lovin’ it. I’ve called it a “beast,” and it is — turbocharged straight six, 330hp, 950 lb-ft of torque. It pulls grades without complaint, considering Ernie’s 16-ton heft, and on the flats it’s effortless.

The air brakes that go with having a diesel engine, plus the nifty exhaust brake, complete the package. It’s a pleasure to drive.

These days, some high-end RVs are equipped with much beefier power plants — over 600hp and torque ratings in excess of 2,000. Hell, you can even get a GM one-ton pickup truck with a 445/910 Duramax V8.

But Ernie’s 8.3-liter Cummins is ridiculously under-stressed at 330/950, and this design has a record of reliability going back almost 25 years. We’re thrilled with it, and we intend to maintain it by the book.

There’s a subset of my (seemingly endless) to-do list that lives on a small scrap of paper. It rides around in my pocket, and whenever I remember what I forgot (if you know what I mean) I fish out that paper and jot it down.

Early this morning I challenged myself to attack the pocket list and see what I could get done. The goal was to have a reason to throw it away.

I checked fluid levels, both bus and generator. I got out the tire gauge and checked the air pressure in all six tires. I spray-lubed everything that moves — leveling jacks, awning tracks, slide gears, entry steps, wiper arms, door latch, deadbolt and more. I cleaned the wiper blades with rubbing alcohol.

I got out the stepladder and applied silicone to the seals on the slides and the entry door. I unplugged our 30A shore power, fired up the generator for the first time since it was serviced and ran it under load (heat pump, water heater and fridge) for a half-hour. I’m pleased to report that it purred.

I stopped and looked at that scrap of paper — just two tasks left, neither of which could be done today. Taking a leaf blower topside and clearing debris from the roof and slide toppers will wait ’til just before we bring the slides in again. And to replace the missing right-rear mud flap, we’ll first have to bring the coach back to “travel height” (air-up the suspension, that is).

Next weekend, I believe. Probably on the same day.

We dealt with a lot of rain during our “shakedown cruise” — a very good thing, as it turned out, since wet weather exposed problems we wouldn’t’ve seen otherwise. One such problem was a tendency for runoff from the roof to dump right over the entry door and, to a lesser extent, onto the driver’s window.

Even when we chose to hunker down on a rainy day, we still had to take the dogs out. And whenever we did, we (and the pups) would get drenched.

We’d heard good things about a product called EZE RV Gutter*, used with success by other RVers having similar troubles. We dropped 25 bucks on a ten-foot length and decided to give it a try.

Out came the stepladder again. I eyeballed the areas where we’d mount the flexible rubber channel, then cleaned the surface with alcohol. With help from Deb (on a second ladder), it was a simple matter of pulling off the backing (a few inches at a time) and pressing the 3M adhesive in place.

We gave each run of gutter a slight fall, back-to-front, ending with a steeper drop to where it ended just behind the windshield. The black gutter doesn’t look out of place, either.

Following the instructions, I finished by running a paint-brush handle back and forth along the length of each gutter to press-out any gaps and ensure that the sticky stuff stays stuck.

We expect this to make a big difference, maybe even solve the problem entirely. I’ll let you know.

And out of ten feet, we ended up with less than a foot of scrap. I do love it when a plan comes together.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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