Illinois, Tonight

One of the frustrating things about RV life–just one of…there are several, actually–is those occasions when you have to be somewhere more than a few hundred miles away within a few days.

Such is this week…and next, and the one after that. It goes on.

From Colorado to almost Ohio this week. Then from there to South Dakota next week. Then from SD back to Colorado in time for elk season. And those are all still work days!

So, for the first and longest leg, we’ve divided it up into several driving days. The last night, tonight, we’re boondocking in the Cracker Barrel parking lot in Effingham, Illinois.

The good news is that tomorrow morning’s breakfast will be a mostly painless affair.

Deer Creek Valley RV Park

…and the adventure continues…

Tonight’s splurge: a full hookup site while in transit out to Indiana at Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, KS. After five days’ boondocking in the wee trailer, we’re all looking forward to nice, hot showers followed by some cool A/C.

We were looking for a full hookup last night before we left Denver, but found they were all booked–on a Monday night!

Then we started looking for any RV site with a dump station–also entirely full.

Finally settled for the last-ditch option in transit: a Walmart. We also had the pleasure of enjoying the sound of two large semi trucks all night long. Fortunately, the kids slept blissfully through it.

But tonight: all of the modern conveniences.

Regular Maintenance

UPGRAYEDD started displaying an annoying symptom when we were up at deer camp recently: stalling shortly after starting.

Been there, done that – just hadn’t got round to repairing the issue just yet.

Helpful onlookers would say, “oh, that’s your injectors – those Duramax engines are notorious for that. That’s too bad.”

Oh, injectors! $600 each and it uses 8 of them…and one would need to tear down all of the intake to get valve covers off to replace them. It’s more expensive and time consuming than it sounds.

But, no, it isn’t. And, no, they aren’t.

Actually, the biggest problem with the Duramax is that it doesn’t have a lift pump to push fuel up to the motor and instead uses vacuum from the high pressure pump on top of the engine to suck diesel fuel uphill three feet through 16 foot of fuel line.

Means it’s very, very prone to sucking air.



1. Check for and correct loose fittings on the vacuum side. $0

2. Ensure it has a properly installed fuel filter and WIF sensor. $0 – $25

3. Rebuild the fuel filter head. $20

Usually campgrounds frown on doing much more than maybe checking the oil in your tow vehicle. But I knocked out all three this morning before most people got their day started.