Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011, Wednesday Ft Stockton to home at 40-45mph. Very long slow drive

This posting is the last of 7 posts detailing my trip back home from Salt Lake City (SLC) after having our Born Free (BF) motorhome upgraded to 4 wheel drive (4x4).  The first entry is dated July 28, 2011.

August 3, 2011, Wednesday
Ft Stockton to home. 320 miles at 40-45mph.  With a 4.5 hour stop in Junction.
Very long slow drive
When I tried to remove the AC power cord from the connector on the side of BF, it was stuck.  The rubber around one of the pins had melted. Last nights hot temps and constant running of the A/C got the connector too hot.  Also one of the pins must not be making a good connection.  It came loose by working it back and forth a few times. 

I stopped by an auto repair place and had him take the exhaust pipe tip off of the exhaust pipe. He charged me $10 & I was happy to pay.  Luckily the tip was held on by a clamp. So it didn’t have to be cut off.  The muffler shop must be on vacation, they didn’t open this morning. 

About 8:30, I started off driving about 54mph while the temp was below 80* and slowed to less than 50mph when it reached 85*.  Then down to 45mph at 90* and down to about 40mph when it got to 95*.  Speed limit on I-10 is 80mph.  Cars were sure whizzing by me!  I was about 20 miles from Junction at about 1:20pm when the temp got over 100*.  I was down to 40mph.  Time to get off of the hwy!  I sure don’t want to blow another tire!  I pulled into the city park right on the Llano river and parked under some big live oaks with very good shade.   

Turned on the generator and the a/c.  I laid down to take a nap, and I remembered I only had a little over ¼ tank of gas. The generator won’t run when the tank is at or less than ¼ full. Just as I was getting pretty good asleep the generator quit.  Off to get gas.  Got about 10 gallons, enough to run the generator & get home.  Back to my shady spot & I read my book until about 6:45 when I got back on the road again, only 99*. Only driving about 42mph, almost all the way to Kerrville, about 45 miles. When I got to Kerrville the temp was down to about 95-96*.  Nice & cool :).  When I got to SA and Loop 1604 I was able to get my speed up to about 54mph.

I used my my tire pressure monitor to keep a very close eye on the tire pressure.  The tire pressure increases as the tire gets hotter.  When the pressure got up to 85psi I would slow down, trying to get the pressure down to 83-84psi and therefore the tire should not be too hot.  When the tire blew yesterday the tire was at 86psi.  I got home about 9:30pm.  A very long and somewhat stressful day.  It probably is a good thing I stopped in Junction during the very hot part of the day. Also the sun beating down on the black asphalt probably has the asphalt at about 150*.   

Update from almost a year later.  The normal tire pressure increase while traveling is about 8-12 psi from 80psi at 75* in the morning to driving at 60mph in 90*-95* air temps. So driving slow did keep the tire pressure down.  Could I have driven faster in the 100* plus temps?  I don't know.  I didn't want to take the chance. Before we took BF on a trip again I did replace all 6 tires with new, larger, Michelin tires.  The standard equipment was LT225/75R16 load range "E".  I installed LT235/85R16 load range "E".  They have a significantly higher weight carrying capacity.  Since BF was lifted 6 inches to make space for the 4x4 hardware, I have extra space for the larger tires.  However I ran into another problem.  The LT235/85R tires are wider and the insides of the rear dual tires were touching each other.  Not good!  I bought and installed a 1.5" spacer which bolted on the wheel studs.  Now I have a good inch of space between the tires.  

Rear tires with spacer installed

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