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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vacation and back, barely

For many years my lovely wife and I have been camping on the Maine coast during the summer months. We found a great place when the kids were little. One day we got a baby sitter and drove up and down the coast checking out different campgrounds. We fell in love with one and keep going back.

The kids are grown and have kids of their own. This year the count was two daughters, with husbands, and three grandkids. One son-in-law's mother and stepfather were there as was his brother, wife and toddler. My other daughter brought along friends and their two young kids. Even family friends spent a night there. We really did not want to miss the camping trip.

Our van has been giving us nothing but trouble. In fact it's scheduled for repairs to the diesel fuel system. To keep it on the road, I've had to run diesel in the veggie tank. However, on a long trip I can mix in some waste vegetable oil, as long as I ran it low and then filled the tank with diesel again before shutting down for the night. It's a bit complicated, but doable.

We had a great three nights at the campground. Good times had by all. I must admit some concern about the van so no unnecessary trips were taken with it. That's just as well as when I got into town it developed a coolant leak -like I needed another van issue to worry about.

Fortunately, I was in town and had a reservation to get the diesel system fixed the next day. As I pulled in, my mechanic was just taking the last car out of the bay before he was going to head home. He found the coolant leak and in a way it's related to my fuel problems. The diesel fuel filter is in a tight place. I've been moving the coolant lines out of the way to work on the fuel filter. One of those lines didn't quite bounce back into place so got abraded by a pulley.

Even my mechanic thinks these constant van repairs are getting ridiculous.

The good news is that we did make it to the campground, had a great time, and made it back into town. Things could have been worse.



  1. Six i know all these repairs and breakdowns are getting tiring.I can only guess what the wife says before every trip in it:)You may need to try pre filtering it before using in the van.Its a pain but less than the breakdowns.Would 1 gallon diesel to 9 gallons WVO change the viscosiety enuff to help?

    1. The on-board filtering system has worked well for years with a number of vehicles for thousands and thousands of miles -including a lot of miles with this one. Don't think it's the main problem.

  2. I am not much of mechanic, so can not give you any advice. My father-in-law said I was a dangerous man if I had tools in my hand.

    1. A man's got to know his limitations. Still . . . I bet you have fun with tools.