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Old 01-21-2021, 01:29 PM   #1
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Broken down or Perfecting the art of relaxation

Lock down fever has returned and what better way to relax than a camping trip to the beach. With that in mind, we set out for the coast and had our sights set on a beach front camp site. We departed on the end of a three day holiday, (MLK day) hoping that most folks would be headed home, and based on the amount of traffic going away from the beaches, we were confident we had a good chance of finding a great spot. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned as we were only about an hour and a half from home when the check engine light came on. I pulled over at the next wide spot in the road to read the codes and look them up on the internet. It turned out to be a ďLean fuel trim, banks 1 and 2Ē I didnít want to go much further away from civilization and an auto parts store until I spent some time troubleshooting. Oddly, the road I turned off on lead directly to a waterfront campground and the van was still running ok. Normally I avoid organized camp grounds due mostly to the crowds, generators, children and general chaos, but this was an exceptional circumstance. As it turned out, there were only a couple other campers, and we had our pick of the prime sites along the water. I quickly got camp set up and the fire going, but had no intention of getting into trouble shooting until the next day, relaxing was far more important. By the time evening rolled around, we were the only ones in the entire campground and our original thought of everyone going home was verified. It was a lovely evening of sitting around the fire with dinner baking on the grill and cold beers in hand. It got pretty cold too, with a low of around 40degs, but once we moved inside, the new diesel heater was a real hit with the Mrs. The following morning I pulled the dog house and did a close inspection of all the vacuum hoses as I suspected a vacuum leak. There are a large number of things that can cause a lean fuel condition, but the fact that I had just had new plugs and boots installed made me highly suspicious a vacuum line had been broken or disconnected since the guy had stuffed himself all over the top of the engine. Heís a guy with tons of experience working on Econolines, and better yet, heís really small. Normally Iíd do the job myself, but Iím getting old and Iím big and fat, so why not let the little guy get all greasy and bruised up? It took him several hours, but he got it done with a minimal amount of injuryís. Well, he almost got the job done, but somehow he had disconnected the PCV valve and neglected to reconnect it. It wasnít obvious at all, but I could hear it at an idle, and once I found it and pushed it back together, all was well. No more check engine light and we still had half a day of great weather in a really nice camp site. We had ferry reservations the following day so there was no hurry to go anywhere and we had enough wood for one more night. As it turned out, we were much closer to the ferry than we had planned, and with a late evening reservation we had plenty of time to explore areas we normally bypass on the way to the coast. So, despite disliking organized camp grounds I now think Iíll be more inclined to check them out instead of always bypassing them. We spent the day exploring a bunch of small side roads along the coast, found lots of interesting places including a large heard of Elk with one bull standing guard over his herd, so we had a great time, so Iím going to call this trip a fortunate education. Having internet available was huge too as within a couple hours we would have been out of cell service and without a way to decode the CEL. I keep meaning to print up a list of codes and their meanings and now I think that chore is rising to the top of the list. Meanwhile, itís time to start re-planning that trip to the beach.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:55 PM   #2
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Engine light woes, and a FUN time...two that normally don't pair well together.
Now go splurge on something you've wanted - theoretically you already spent that money on the repair costs you envisioned, but this time it'll just put a smile on your face.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:58 PM   #3
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A lemonade trip
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:05 PM   #4
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THX ARCTIC!! Trip reports are the BEST AND a bit of tutorial too...thx for the pics! Any chance you could PM us with the location of that spot? (kinda lol)...I SWEAR if you roll up while we are there, you can have our spot! Thx again AT!
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:16 PM   #5
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Plus 1 on the lemonade trip. Looks like it turned out to be a great trip all the way around. I usually avoid campgrounds too, but some of them are just fine.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:40 PM   #6
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THX ARCTIC!! ! Any chance you could PM us with the location of that spot? (kinda lol)...I SWEAR if you roll up while we are there, you can have our spot! Thx again AT!
Its no secret, we landed at the Dunginess Spit county park in Sequim Wa. Its next to the Dunginess spit wildlife refuge and light house. It did have the look of a place where you need reservations during the summer, but half the sites are first come first serve. It was clean, the bathrooms were well maintained and most of the water side spots offered quite a bit of privacy.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:55 PM   #7
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Engine light woes, and a FUN time...two that normally don't pair well together. Now go splurge on something you've wanted -
You know, I spent the entire summer being locked down due to Covid, and instead of traveling, I spent large amounts of money upgrading the van. At this point, there really isn't much more I can think of to do. Suspension's completely rebuilt, new wheels and tires, new full float installed, diesel heater's in, exterior and interior lighting is upgraded, Tracbar is on and more. Still, I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:14 PM   #8
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All that work certainly is a hell of an accomplishment!

Since you mentioned the Tracbar, I'm graciously requesting an update to the Thread you introduced that on...I'm very interested to hear your thoughts now that you have some experience with it. I've been contemplating the same, or having a custom sway bar made for the rear.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:14 AM   #9
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What kind of world are we living in?...along with outsourcing some of your repairs and staying at an organized campground, youíve managed to find the time to write up a trip report.....something I canít seem to get to after being on (and off) the road now for over a year.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:34 PM   #10
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What kind of world are we living in?...along with outsourcing some of your repairs and staying at an organized campground, youíve managed to find the time to write up a trip report.....something I canít seem to get to after being on (and off) the road now for over a year.
Yea, organized campgrounds are a foreign concept to me, but perhaps because I'm getting older, some of the creature comforts are more appealing, but don't expect to see me in one too often. As for trip reports, an REF report would need to be more like a monthly travel magazine, but how about a Cliff notes version, and what about that transmission story?
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