Saturday, November 3, 2018

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 1

There was no room for error to prepare Brunnhilde for a cross country trip to pick up the Trailex open car trailer. I planned my trip to also visit my family in Toronto.

I ordered the high altitude pump for the diesel furnace planning to swap it into the OE one as I would be spending nights in high altitudes during the trip. However I didn't get around to do it seeing the risks of breaking a clamp or damage a hose. Risk mitigation.

I left nothing to chance. As Brunnhilde has not been driven for months I went for a test drive and immediately were greeted with this P0404 error code. Brunnhilde went into limp mode. I clear the code and each time restarting the engine and started driving the limp mode returned. It was a EGR error so I suspected the motor actuated EGR valve must have gotten stuck due to prolong disuse. Soon enough after clearing the code again it didn't return. I went for a longer driver locally just to be sure and it didn't return.

I was dreading this may had failed but it must had been a temporary sticking - most likely due to accumulation of moisture

I wanted to service the automatic transmission before the trip but didn't have the time nor want to take the chance of something going wrong.

Actually there was another error code when I back Brunnhide out of the driveway. It was one with antilock brake. I noticed the rear drum brake made a unsticking noise so that must have trip the antilock brake system's error detection. Neither of these code reoccur during the entire 6000+ mile trip.

In order to save weight, space, and keep things simple I elected not to bring the Honda generator for the trip.

i took advantage of a DOT truck scale to check Brunnhilde's weight

i stopped by BestBuy for a charge cable for the Apple Watch that I neglected to bring along

I like taking photos of all the good highway rest stops that I stayed or rested

the first time I try to have a shower and this pesky faucet hose got jammed behind the sink cabinet; I didn't have a piece of clothes hanger wire to free it; it would be until I made it to Toronto this problem is fixed; a piece of clothes hanger wire is now one of the must carry tool

Again the iPhone came in very handy to help see what normally you cannot without a mirror or some specialty camera aid. The above photo was taken with the flash set to on.

a nice bowl of noodle made on the road; I didn't buy any ready made food on the road nor stop at any restaurant; cooking all the way

some times instant noodle fills the gaps

i regretted going into Chicago as the traffic was beyond bad

the weather that afternoon was hot and humid so I set up the ventilation fan while resting at a rest stop

It was during the long stop at this rest stop that I was alarmed with the condition of the coach batteries. I knew they need to be replaced soon but not expecting their capacity has deteriorated so much. I did listen to music at loud level for hours during that stop. I knew I would need to replace these batteries when returned home.

here it is in action

so nice to be able to monitor your house thousands of miles away; i had a shipment

I always choose the parking spot carefully for safety at highway rest stops

the propane level gauge is hard to read; I use the iPhone camera to read it by taking a photo of it; my repair of the float mechanism inside the tank proved successful

this was taken after the long trip and a few dry campings

I stopped by Hamilton to visit my college; downtown Hamilton has some of the worst road surface on the two main streets

the city has since changed so much that is hard to recognize

I wanted to re-experience a cup of Tim Hortons coffee; this is the one by the college that I used to visit but it has long since been updated - for the worst and lost the quaint ambiance of the old Canadian chain

while the coffee was almost drinkable in the by gone era it is now worst than piss; shameless money grab by the company

If Starbucks coffee is 3/10 bad, this is 1/10. I poured the coffee into the trash bin but kept the cup and lid as a Canadian trip trophy. And yes, there are now Tim Hortons all over the US. Luckily for me, I bought along sufficient home roasted beans for the entire trip.

this video was taken by my assistant with the vehicle in full autonomous driving mode


  1. What's the black/white thingy for the transmission service?
    Also, I see you visited my hometown, Omaha!

    1. As the Oracle wasn't home I drove right through the city. The thingy is a connector with which the o-ring of sort tends to leak fluid, may be through the individual electrical contacts. Since you are going thru the trouble to service the oil change you might as well replace it. Everything appears to be quite straight forward - except refilling the fluid thru the "filler" tube that has the tiniest of diameter.