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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Word from the garage



The nice lady at the garage called to let me know what the damage was going to be on the veggie van. As I suspected, not cheap.

The belt noise was caused by two different issues. One was the tensioner wheel. The second was caused by one of the alternators seizing up. Yes, the van has two of them. It started life as an ambulance before I turned it into a camper van powered by waste veggie oil. Medical equipment puts a lot of demand on electrical systems, so that's why two alternators.

The garage wanted to know if I wanted to go with just the stock alternator or to replace the second one too. They needed to know which belt to get. It took only a moment to decided to keep both alternators. The camper conversion has things like electric coolers and a microwave that draw a lot of power. Also, sometimes power tools are run off the inverter. Not a place to cheap out.

To pass inspection it needed some running lights changed and a directional light rewired. The most expensive item on the list was two new rear tires. I'd purchased those tires in South Carolina about two and a half years ago. They weren't too expensive, but they weren't that great either. Never liked the handling. They didn't perform badly enough to justify replacing them, but I kinda wanted to.

The whole thing came in just under a thousand dollars. Ouch! Well, I'd rather pay my local mechanic than some stranger on the road somewhere. I'm going to need that van to haul building materials and to tow boats.

We plan on doing a lot of camping in the van this year. We already have a week booked this summer on the coast of Maine. That van will probably be our home for a good part of the fall and winter. Might as well have it up to snuff. Fixing the van is a lot cheaper than heating the house in the winter.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. Wise decisions. It nearly always has come back to haunt me when I've tried to do things on the cheap.

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    1. I try to avoid problems on the road. That doesn't always happen, especially when the vehicles get older. However, going cheap up front never works well for me.

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  2. If you camp in Rockland, Maine in August you can enjoy the lobster festival. Yum! Hope the leg heals more quickly. And you are right. Sometimes if you want long lasting equipment you have to pay for it even if it hurts.

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    1. Yum! Indeed! Haven't been to Rockland in a while, but it's a great place.

      My mechanic's motto is: quality only hurts once.

      He's right.

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  3. I totally agree with everything you say. Doing it right certainly beats doing it over...and it less expensive in the long run

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    1. I'm just happy I can stretch the budget enough to do it right.

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  4. It's always a pill when unexpected issues come up with your vehicles. It never seems to be something cheap or minor. Sorry that happened to you.

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    1. It's the cost of doing business. Eventually vehicles need work.

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  5. But also consider how much money you save on lodgings when you visit by staying in van or boat that is hauled behind it. You also get to pick the locations, how long you stay, etc.

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    1. That makes it all worth while. We sometimes boondock and dry camp. Also, we can stay at Federal campsites for half price.

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  6. funny how people will shell out money for fixing a van versus themselves when needing vital medical attention

    Wildflower

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    1. Okay, read my new blog post. I'm spending money on my darn medical stuff. Can't enjoy life if I'm all messed up.

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  7. Interesting article regarding wound healing, etc. using UMF Manuka Honey. We used essential oils too, i.e. tea tree, eucalyptus, etc. and took GSE (grapefruit seed extract internally), but we really noticed the difference when we started dressing with the Manuka honey. Sending this just FYI.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/20/the-natural-way-to-speed-wound-healing.aspx

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    1. I've been getting a lot of good and useful information from these posts. Thanks.

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