Friday, August 5, 2016

Canada Trip Day 5, 8/04


Leaving Glendale, Oregon.

Brake Problems.

When we got here on Sunday I noticed that the tow brakes on the jeep weren’t working properly. They were working when we left home.

False Hope.

When climbing over some of the passes between Grants Pass and Glendale, we were going so slow that I decided to put the hazard lights on. 
The signal to operate the brakes comes from the brake light switch. I noticed that I had forgotten to turn the flashers off after the last hill. I figured that with the brake lights flashing that it confused the tow brake system and that may be why the brakes didn’t work.

The tow brake still isn’t working properly.

When we were hooking up to leave Glendale I tried to check the system. It seemed that the jeep part was getting the proper signal from the RV brakes but the actuator didn’t pull the brake peddle down very far.
This system uses accelerometers that tell it how hard to press on the brakes when you are slowing down. Therefore it is hard to check it out when you are not moving. I had Patti operate the breakaway switch to test the system. The actuator in the jeep started to pull the peddle down but only a little bit.
I figured that this was because the vehicle wasn’t moving and the accelerometers were telling the system that it was already stopped so there was no need to pull the brake peddle down hard.

Lets Go Then.

I decided that the system would probably work once we got moving.
We headed north up I-5 planning to stop for gas at the Seven Feathers Casino gas station. The gas is pretty cheep there $2.16 a gallon with a players card and they have a lane that is just for RV’s so it is easy in and out.
I noticed when we got there that the tow brake wasn’t working and it was a little hard to stop.


Now, back when I was a young man we towed jeeps all over the country without any kind of auxiliary tow brakes. I even towed an old jeep loaded with camping gear with a boat on top behind a 65 mustang and never had any problems so I decided that we could tow our jeep just fine behind the RV with a little care.

Off We Go Then.

We filled the RV with gas and hit the road heading north.
When we got to Roseburg we headed east on highway 138 which follows the Umpqua River.
The Umpqua is a beautiful river with a lot of deep holes and and cascades.


I keep saying that I would love to fish it but there aren’t many places along the road where I (an old fart) can get down to the river. There are turnouts on the road but the banks are very steep and the river is a long way down.
Some day I will come up here just to fish this stream and I will find out if I can do it or not.

It is a beautiful ride along the river.


There are lots of wild flowers blooming along the road.


Made it to Hwy 97.

Eventually we got over the mountains. I was very careful about using the brakes but it wasn’t a problem.

A Very Scary Situation.

We were going north on 97 and were coming into a small town.
All of a sudden I see railroad crossing barriers light up and start to descend.  I hit the brakes hard and the rear tires on the RV locked up but we were still heading for the tracks.
I judged that if I got the RV stopped it would leave us in the middle of the tracks. The barriers were on the way down so I punched it and we snuck under the barriers and made it across the tracks just in time.
I don’t know how we made it without the barriers hitting the top of the RV or the jeep. Maybe there are sensors on the barriers that wont let them come all the way down if there is a vehicle in the way. I don’t know, but whatever it was, we made it through with out hitting the barriers or getting hit by the train.

A Change of Plan.

After that experience, I decided that we would have to disconnect the Jeep and Patti would drive it until I can figure out how to fix the problem.

Arrived at Redmond.

We got to Redmond about 5:00 and went to the city RV dump station. This is one of the few towns that have a public RV dump station. I think they all should have something like it.
The temperature was in the low 90’s and we were beat from the heat and the stress of the drive. It was a relief to get the RV parked along side Samantha’s (our granddaughter) apartment and have a chance to relax.

Visiting Grandparents.

Samantha’s other Grandparents live in Redmond and as we were getting the power hooked up to the RV, Grandpa Mike showed up.
We went into the apartment and visited for a bit then called Grandma Sue. She came over and we visited until around 9:30.
They left and shortly after we went to bed.

It was a long stressful day.

Tomorrow (Friday) I will see what I can do about the brakes.

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