Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walked out of Freightliner and Found A Better Place

After checking out of our stinky hotel room, we stopped at the Freightliner to see when the Alfa would be ready. We had driven by a few times and noticed she had not been moved, and were upset that at 10 AM  she was still not being worked on. As we stood at the desk, waiting for some information, the boss came in and said the guys who were supposed to work on her had been reassigned to another job. That, along with their outrageous estimate was enough for Craig to ask for his keys and the bill for the diagnostic work they had done. The boss said he was sorry, and said there would be no charge.

Craig called the place where Al of The Bayfield Bunch had work done earlier this spring, but they were kind of busy and were in the opposite direction from where we were headed. Then he went to the site and found Northern Arizona Diesel Repair. They had some good reviews and when we called they said to come on over.

It is a small shop that seems to do a variety of work, but the immediate and personal attention we received was a fresh experience after our experience at the big Freightliner shop.

The all purpose service guy, Scott, replaced the big air filter, and Craig and I washed the back surface of the radiator with the Pro/HD Heavy Duty Simple Green Cleaner. We really didn't have enough to do a thorough job, but it was better than nothing.

We thought Freightliner had changed the air filter last September as part of the annual big service job, but it was dated 4/14 indicating they had not!

The total bill was $329.  A lot better than the estimate of $2600 from Freightliner.

Our drive from Flagstaff to Page in the afternoon was not easy nor completely worry free. Part of the drive were two rather long grades, and the temperature gauge did go up, but not to the overheating point. Craig worked hard at down shifting at the right time, and keeping the engine RPMs high enough to prevent it from getting too hot.

Do we still need to get the radiator cleaned in some way? I think yes. We have to find a source for the Heavy Duty Simple Green, and a place where we can run off a lot of water.

Rick R. mentioned using an air pressure blast, and he was nice enough to send us instructions on how to do that.

We have had more mishaps, confusion, and silly things happen to us in the last 48 hours than I can write about, but the important thing is we are OK for now. We made it to Page, and overnighted at Walmart because I had cancelled our Monday - Wednesday reservation. Now, Thursday afternoon, we are tucked in at the Lake Powell Campground after a terribly long drive of two miles this morning!

Below are some of the pictures we took on our Flagstaff side trip to Sunset Crater:

This 35 mile loop off of Hwy 89 goes through some very interesting landscapes with short walkable trails. In the image above, the snow peaks in the background are the San Francisco Peaks and are visible from Flagstaff. In Indian lore, gods live there and the volcanic domes of the Sunset Crater area are their guardians. The rough dark area in the mid-ground is very fresh, very rough lava flow. In the foreground you can see plants struggling to take root in the volcanic cinders.

This area last saw volcanic activity between 1000 and 1100 AD, so the frozen lava flows and cinder piles are quite new as such thing go.

Craig seems to be entering a tree loving phase. Above, he hugs a healthy living Ponderosa pine, and as we have been walking in new areas has taken an interest in some special arboreal specimens.

H said this was a very "brave" tree because it conquered the raw, sterile lava rock flow.

Among the many twisted remains of the dead trees we have seen, this one reminded him of a petroglyph drawing of a person.

Not all of the lava flow area was hard black rock. There were also mounds like this rust red hill.

After exploring the volcanic area we continued our drive around the loop and came to several Wupatki Indian ruins.

They have been excavated and partially restored. Obviously the iron hand rail in the picture above is not part of the original structure.

Archeologists believe people built and lived here about 75 years after the volcanic eruptions at Sunset Peak. It is unknown exactly who they were, or how long they lived in this area, but their pueblos were large and had many rooms.

Oh what a beautiful and interesting area we have come to! It is going to be hard to limit the number of pictures we post.

Life is good.


  1. I have a rear radiator Freightliner like you do. After some research I found the Aluminum safe simple green.
    I think its called extreme simple green. I ordered it online, got a 2 gallon garden sprayer and a wand type pressure sprayer at Home Depot. I did the rear first, on the radiator behind the doors. I did it twice and sprayed it with hot water. I then went inside, emptied closet and pulled up the floor panels to get to the other side which is the CAC. It looks like a radiator except it cools air on the turbocharger. It is right next to the radiator, you could say they are sandwiched together. I actually ordered a portable steam pressure cleaner online for about $120.
    I cleaned the radiator twice, and the CAC twice. I'm disabled, on oxygen 24/7, so anyone who wants to can do this. With the cleaner, sprayer, spray wand, and steam pressure cleaner, I spent about $200 and 2 days of my time. Any able bodied person could do this in several hours.
    My temp gauge barely moves goi g up mountains out west now. One IMPORTANT thing is. Among sure you or someone extends the slobber tube past the radiator. Just google that to find out how. I had so done do it for !ESS than $50. The s!obber tube is what spays oil and clogs up the radiator.
    Hope this he!PS.

  2. love your photos - it looks like a very interesting place to visit. I hope I have the opportunity to go there somewhere.

  3. Really really like the composition in your header photo at the Grand Canyon. Yes those hills & mountain grades sure can mess with one's piece of mind alright. Brutally hard on RV's & that stretch west of Williams is notorious for messing up people's travel plans. Have been through Page a couple times but have never taken time to stop & smell the roses in that area. Maybe this Fall. Keep up those great photos:))

    1. Among the best roses to smell in this area is Horseshoe Bend. We had a large photo print of it in our former house for 20+ years, and it was one of the triggers for us to become RVers. Today we got there. It was just as great as our photo. See next post.

  4. We were towed out of Page yesterday to Kanab. Broken fuel injector. It's always something!


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