Happie's RPU Premier "Happiegrrrl Hits the Road" Thread

  • Lucas and Me.jpg

    That was yesterday, last morning of coffee in bed with Lucas at my cabin.

    As most here know, I have a tradition of creating a thread when I do my semi-annual cross-country travels. Historically they were on Supertopo, but well....here we are.

    Naysayers get a thrill of bashing me(usually behind my back or via anonymous profiles on climbing forums); I get a thrill out of getting back and forth despite their seemingly sincere hopes I crash and burn.

    Well, this time they may well get their way. I took Penny in for a check up on some issues last week. The mechanic's desk person said "Did you say you were leaving for California? We don't recommend you drive that van to California."

    Unfortunately, the fixes would cost more than I paid for the van, and if I had had them done, I'd have about enough money for gas to get out of Clove Road, but not much further.


    Got on the road this morning only 45 minutes past my planned time, and made my 1st night destination(Ithaca, NY) only 1 hour after my hoped-to-get-there time, at 5pm.

    It started raining, just as the forecast said it would, soon after I began. It started snowing about 2 hours after I left. But the temperature was above freezing, and the roads didn't ice, so all was good. But it was stressful, wondering if I would still be on the road after dark and lower temps. Luckily I now only have to get from the coffee shop to my bed-down at Walmart, about 3 blocks away.

    I drove a new way, through the Catskills, and saw several cool towns; none of them with the pretentious airs of ones where people tend to locate their weekend homes.

    Because the van got a bad report card, I was nervous, and also due to the rain, I didn't really stop and take pictures. I'd see something cool, and instead of stopping and turning back, decided to press on. My loss, really.

    But - I did take a few pictures, and if one has interest they can find them on
    my Instagram page for Talisman Too.

    Haters probably gonna hate, but if your a lover - wish me luck not only for a successful arrival at my winter destination in Quartzsite, but for fun and adventure along the way, and a big smile on my face come next May when they see my van roll into the Coxing lot, perhaps limping a little more, but getting back nonetheless.

  • Yikes! happy, you never know with mechanics. usually dealers are the absolute worst with the negative energy and just trying to get you to either buy a new rig or spend thousands in the shop. I have had an idiot service manager declare me dead if I didnt have $2,200 work done at which point I drove the van another 50k without doing any of what he was trying to sell me. Other times I really wanted stuff fixed and they couldn't figure out what it was... Anyways the absolute best of luck on the trip. hope you make it safely . Any idea what they said was wrong with it???

  • Yes.... One thing is a cracked exhaust manifold. But there is more than just that. This mechanic is well-regarded by a lot of people.

    The van is old('90) and has done very well. But we all go someday. I just hope Penny doesn't go someday soon - hahaha
    But seriously, I have the feeling we'll get cross and back one more time. Guess we'll find out!

  • Good luck and Happie trails!

  • @Happiegrrrl Don't want to be a downer but a cracked exhaust manifold could be trouble, depending on location and severity. Threat being after shutdown of cold air entering via the crack contacting very hot valves and causing warping and such. Thereby potentially snowballing into even larger new problems. Maybe try finding a replacement at a junkyard and maybe some less expensive labor once you're out of the high rent districts to fix just that?

    Been a lot of years since I was a wrench man though. Any other mechanics hereabouts care to add?

  • cracked exhaust manifold will be loud. if it was not a van it might not be more than a few hundred bucks but vans are hard to get at... and if there is other life threatening crap going on then it snowballs.. I have not driven a rig on the highway with a cracked manifold long distance so not shure what you can get away with?? I did drive my Ford 150 plow truck for quite a few years with cracked manifold but that was just plowing and logging, no highway use.. drove a saab for about a week with cracked manifold.. If that was the only life threatening problem I would be inclined to try and have it fixed. it might also get stinky?? on the otherhand there is certainly something liberating about not giving a shit about what happens to the rig and just running her until she stops. It gets complicated however if there is no plan B.....

  • Sorry you are having these issues.

  • Happie, Herd it from a friend that you can run it long distance with the cracked manifold but you have to worry about exaust leak into the cabin. that means No idling for heat and keep the window open a bit while driving. its the real deal.

  • It's not loud. Barely even noticeable as being more sound than one would call no issue at all.

    I noticed last spring on the way back that the "sound" had a bit of an echo, and figured first that it was a cracked manifold. I should have had it looked at early in the summer when I had time and could have dedicated 2 paychecks to a fix(for that and other issues).

    I don't run the van for heat when parked. I have a Mister Buddy heater that has a cut off detector, plus I only run to take chill off and use good blankets for warmth. I took the detector from my cabin and have it in the van.

    I drive between 50 and 100 miles between stop and get outs, as I like to see the towns. Unfortunately I'm heading into COLD cold, which will make that less desirable.

    Yes, I know this is serious. I'm not dismissing that, and sorry to those who think I'm being an idiot. I am, I know. It's the idiocy of having stopped chasing the american dream and following the path of least resistance; this is an example of one of the unintended consequences.

  • Coffeeing up and then waking the doggy. Then up to Aurora for a walk around before shuffling off to Buffalo.

  • @Happiegrrrl Don't think you're being an "idiot" at all. Sussing up the situation and taking a calculated risk in pursuit of adventure sounds just like a climber "logic" to me...

    Good luck.

  • @Happiegrrrl said in Happie's RPU Premier "Happiegrrrl Hits the Road" Thread:

    Coffeeing up and then waking the doggy. Then up to Aurora for a walk around before shuffling off to Buffalo.

    Still got my contact info? Got your back Terrie,

  • Terrie, watch out for the arctic blast due to sweep the midwest and east. The lady that introduced me to climbing in 1953 has traveled by herself from upper New York state to Colorado and Montana for many years to ski, but at the age of 83 has decided to abandon this ritual and ski in the east. She's been writing a book on the spatial dynamics in the sport.

    You have many years to go . . . my best wishes for a good trip😉

  • Terrie. if the crack is small, you are aware of the carbon monoxide threat? sounds like you have an alarm?? Keep the hammer down and keep on trucking 🙂 One of the things I do when a vehicle has reached it's last 6 months or so of life expectancy is I stop changing the oil and just add as needed... saves a few bucks but you want to know that she is commited to the scrap yard before you go down that road ……

  • @johntp Yes, thanks, John.

    @jgill - I actually just had the oil changed at the mechanics as I knew it was at least one thing I could afford to have him do. Problem is that, as usual, I forgot to tell him to put in 10-w-40. I know the thinner stuff has gone through a good amount, but am having difficulty telling what the stick reads(I like my oil black, and when it's new...it's not. I added a bit over a quart, and have the feeling I need more, but even though it LOOKS very low on the stick, it's making no tapping or knocking. Anyway - stopped for a snack and then off down the road to Casa de Walmart (in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada). Will park as level as can be had there, and take a good read tomorrow before driving.

    Today, as I was coming down the hill into East Aurora, I saw the speed ahead sign and thought "I have plenty of time..." and then there was the next slow down speed, and I figured "better do that!" and so I did, and then...there was the cop. He must have read me before I hit the 35 because I sure wasn't doing 55 at that sign, but...that's what he said.

    The good news, believe it or not, he let me go! He asked where I was from, and then where I was going and I said "Well, first I'm going to get some of that delicious chowder at the Mister Pot Pie place."

    He was like "What????" So, I repeated and then added, "and then going to visit my sister in MI, and the other one in WI and then to Arizona."

    I think he must have known that soup is worth racing too....hahahah

    Usually I want to be to a stopping town by dark, but I wanted to get a bit further today, as I crossed into Canada at about 4pm. I knew it would be a stretch to get to London, and it was.... Nonetheless, git a glimpse of sunset over Lake Ontario
    sunset 2mp.jpg

  • as long as something shows on the stick you are OK. carefull not to over fill!!best time to check is in the morning before you start her. It will be the easiest to read then. if you hear tapping or knocking you let it get way too low. Be well! safe travels!

  • if you park level pull the stick nice and smooth first thing in the morning. most accurate read you will get.

  • That was the plan, and that was what I did! It showed down a quart. So, I added, but only half a quart. That will get me to my sister's place and I'll check again tomorrow morning, and each morning, which is what I do when going longer than around town driving.

    As I wrote to someone, I bet Penny ends up trotting right into the Coxing Corral next spring(back to my place in NY, that is).

  • if that's the plan keep up with the oil changes every 5k or so 😉 I don't know if it helps at all but they do sell high miledge oil for old rigs??

  • Yep, and I do use the "oldster oil."

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