Thursday, June 13, 2019

Not a fluke!

We left Creede to head just 22 miles up the road to our "secret" boondocking site.  Kidding about the secret, as it's actually right off the road, but no one else even came in the parking lot while we there for 2 full days.  And from the evening on, you are all by yourself in the absolute quiet and absolute darkness.  At night you just can't believe the stars!
Our spot
We wanted to fish in Clear Creek which is right outside our door, but it is very high with the snow melt, so we took long walks out into the meadow and out along the creek.  Not a soul in sight:-)  We had some rain and snow showers move through while we were there and it just added to the experience.  
How we dealt with the rain:-)

We woke up on our first morning and as we were having coffee, I looked up and wondered what I was seeing.
Good morning!
A young bull moose come for breakfast 
We went out and Jan got her camera and lens and she tried to get a closer picture.  We found out, it is just amazing how a bull moose can just disappear in the willows.
She was able to get this one
This is about 100 yards max from our window, how cool is that?  After the excitement we took another walk.
The over flowing Clear Creek
Look closely you can see our coach way out to the left

Another shot, the coach is nearer the middle in this one

I said we'd know more about our pump after we went up to Blue Mesa over Slumgullion Pass, 11,530'.  Well that part of the trip didn't solve it.  Turned out it was about 45 degrees out and there was absolutely no traffic so I never went faster than 30 mph which didn't put much strain on the engine. We didn't think of the serious hills, not passes, on the way from Lake City to Blue Mesa Reservoir, where we did run too hot, up to maybe 210 or so, still not right.  

We went into Gunnison for lunch to a place we'd been about 3 years ago and enjoyed, Twisted Fork.  It was just as good as we remembered.
Jan's delicious Vietnamese tacos

My amazing Dragon Noodles
After we took a ride up to Taylor Reservoir, still quite a bit of snow.  I decided while in Gunnison to pick up a new hydraulic filter to see if that might help our problem, and put it in when we got back.  The next day we left for Chatfield State Park, just south of Denver.  

We found out very quickly that we had completely forgotten Monarch Pass, 11,312 just a few miles out of Gunnison, duh.  We kept our fingers crossed and I was able to nurse it up in 3rd gear at 1800 rpm and was able to keep the temp to 212df.  But darn it is not right!
Monarch Pass
Chatfield State Park is a large park in Littleton with a lake, and nice large sites, even has a 2 paved runway RC field!
And a pretty nice view from our site
I knew Monday morning I was going to have to address this hydraulic pump, but one thing kept nibbling at us, what if it really wasn't the pump?  It's an expensive part, and boy to find out it isn't it would kill us.  I should explain a little further.  The hydraulic pump on our coach provides hydraulic pressure and flow to our cooling fan mounted behind our radiator stack, when you first start the engine the fan turns quite slowly, but when the wax valve senses heat over 185df, it starts to melt and ports more and more hydraulic fluid to the fan so it speeds up, in fact when it is hot the fan sounds like a turbojet, it howls.  Now when we got the top of Monarch Pass and the temp was 210 or so, I stopped and ran back to check the fan, and it was barely turning.  The fact that all our problems started exactly at the same moment the pump was rebuilt points to the pump, but......  So before I started calling around for pumps, I felt we really ought to make sure it wasn't a bad wax valve.  The procedure is to swap the two hydraulic lines on the valve and it will force the fan to high, if the fan goes fast, it is a bad valve, and if it doesn't, it's the pump, so we did the test.
The wax valve and you can see the 2 hydraulic lines 
Well, the fan did not speed up, bad pump.  Some explanation is in order.  The pump we have, a Sauer Danfoss CPC-1047 is a pump they don't make anymore, the company sold the rights to another company, in fact, the one I bought the rebuild kit from.  So to replace a pump with a new one is a bit of a struggle now, do you want another of the same that doesn't have a good track record, or do you try to find a compatible replacement.  Also to get a new pump from the company that makes them requires a 4 week lead time.  So with much time and research on one of the forums I use, IRV2, I found a company in California that has stepped up to the plate with a new replacement pump, one made in the US, has parts readily available, and is a complete plug and play replacement, also it is a commercial pump with a design life of 25,000 hours!  And when I called and talked to them they were very knowledgable, and had done a ton of work with this new pump, and it was several hundred dollars cheaper than the original remake, and best of all they had several in stock!  So it has been ordered and will be installed in Oregon.

So in the meantime we have been busy, one of our goals was to finally get the galley faucet taken care of and we did, it still took 2 trips to the store, but it's now all done!

We've done quite a bit of exploring around the area up to Estes Park, back through the mountains, down to Deckers, up to Boulder to visit the Liberty Puzzle factory, and have had a great time in the Denver area, we like it a lot.  Quick mention, if you have never heard of Liberty Puzzles, they are without a doubt the very best jigsaw puzzle available, they are high quality, made on maple plywood, extremely intricate, and very difficult to do, and they are made in Boulder.
Through the canyon to Deckers

Lots of snow near Estes Park
Also, just so you know, we show a lot of restaurant food on here, maybe too much for some folks:-)  But 95% of our meals we prepare ourselves, so I will just show one of our delicious meals here in Denver.
Beautiful fresh Copper River salmon ready for the grill

Baby bok choy grilling
We are leaving this am for our mad dash to the coast, keep your fingers crossed that our failing pump gets us there without a problem.

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