Monday, September 29, 2014

On the road again

The Guppy has now been thoroughly road-tested. We loaded it up a couple days ago and hit the road. The trickiest part in loading things up turned out to be something we'd never considered in the past: emptying the refrigerator in the house. We've had two refrigerators get fried by power surges in the past two years so even though there is now surge protection on the outlet, we decided not to take any chances. We did not want to come home in a few weeks to a freezer full of melted ice cubes and fermenting condiments. It's amazing how much stuff can be in a refrigerator even when it's is a small one.

The Guppy performed about as expected, right down to producing a number of annoying or mysterious noises. A few things that we didn't expect to slide around did, stuff we were worried about shifting stayed right where it had to been stashed weeks ago. I did figure out we need to invest in another roll of nonslip shelf liner. It worked great in the cabinets, but I think I want some for padding between things like the pizza pan and a cookie sheet. Metal pans aren't going to break if they bounce around, but they definitely made a lot of noise when the Guppy was rolling over rough pavement. Other than odd bangings and clankings from the kitchen area, though, the only worrisome noise seemed to come from the right front tire. The S.O. thinks that tire might be permanently out of round, i.e., it's got a flat spot because the Guppy spends so much time just sitting in one spot. He's going to swap that tire with the spare and see if the noise goes away. That's assuming the spare still holds air, of course.
Heading south on US-45 south of Bruce Crossing, Michigan

In any case, we've been talking about tires in general being an issue since we bought the Guppy last year. The tread still looks good on all of them, but we also know they're all real old. The previous owner put so few miles on the Guppy that he never felt the need to replace any tires; he put less than 1,000 miles on it in six years. Our concern, of course, is that even though the tires look good there's dry rot. We're not seeing any, but you never know.

Until we hit the road, we weren't real sure just how terrible the fuel economy would be. It was, as it turned out, every bit as bad as predicted. Dragging my car behind no doubt hurt. We did not stop at every gas station we passed, but it was beginning to feel that way. It probably didn't help that I'm used to doing long drives in the Focus. Its fuel tank is about 1/3 the size of the one on the Guppy but it can go about three times as far on that one-third the fuel. Every time we had to stop to refuel, I'd have a "What?! But we just did that!" reaction.

On I-39 near Mendota, Illinois
And now we're in Missouri spending a few days annoying the Younger Daughter.We start our first campground hosting gig on Wednesday. It should be interesting, although from what the Kid says, the most interesting part might be just getting to the park. I've driven the roads in Missouri, I've been fairly close to where Montauk State Park is located, I know that in general Missouri has remarkably good roads, but the Kid keeps looking at the Guppy and making dubious noises. She's making state highway 32 sound like a goat trail barely wide enough for a Vespa to handle. We shall see. . . .

I do not know how much time I'll spend in the blogosphere once we're at the park. I'm hoping hosting duties keep me busy enough that I can ignore the Internet a lot more than I do now.

And, yes, for those of you who worry, we will check all the gas fittings before turning on the propane when we reach the park. From the way things were bouncing around on the way down here, it's easy to see how fittings could work their way loose over not many miles on the road.


  1. Ah, fuel mileage, that is why I'm making my own camper, for better mileage.

    Bubble wrap between the pans???

  2. "The S.O. thinks that tire might be permanently out of round, i.e., it's got a flat spot because the Guppy spends so much time just sitting in one spot."

    Only if it has bias ply tires. That doesn't happen to radial tires. They only thump if the tire is out of balance or has a bad spot and is ready to blow.

  3. I got a roll of cheap padded shelf liner at Big Lots for $1 yesterday. It's easier to work with than cardboard and has the added benefit of not being slippery.

    Out of balance is a possibility on that tire. I'd rather not think about the "ready to blow."

  4. Have a safe trip
    the Ol'Buzzard


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