Hi Folks… Kathy & I slowly made our way back to Phoenix on Monday afternoon with the engine bleeding out oil. This issue was due to some aspect of a faulty repair made in Omaha. I mention “slowly” because we couldn’t travel very fast. The engine would heat up if we went past 55mph. Oil soaked the radiator and fan belts rendering them ineffective. We would pull off the road for awhile to let things cool down, and go again… It was tiring and stressful. And, not unlike many of our adventures in south America, haha…

We slept most of yesterday (Tuesday). Still feeling tired, we started the next round of things today to try figuring out our plans from here. There’s a bit to do… I’ve had too much to think : )

This morning a crew from Az RV Awning dropped by to finalize measurements in preparation for the new awnings to be installed. Because the awning we currently have is not repairable, I’m told every awning will be replaced; New fabric, new mechanisms, everything brought to 100%. That was really exciting news! 

Once this is completed (supposedly by next Friday?) we drive the Phaeton to Tollison AZ to the Freightliner repair facility. We’ll be out of the Phaeton for possibly 3 days (hotel life… ugh) while they fix whatever went sour. They have their work cut out. The radiator needs to be steam cleaned, as well as the rest of the engine since the oil has been blown everywhere inside the engine compartment. Doing this, and the oil leak being found and repaired… I suppose 3 days is rapid. 

Meanwhile, we found something else that really is disturbing us…

For our internet connection we have been using an Airsey II hotspot. This is a high gain-high bandwidth device that assures we can easily broadcast wherever we are (mostly). so long as we have adequate signal. Coupled with a military grade cell booster, we typically have 5 bars wherever we are. Even if there is no signal showing on our phones! This is a hell of a system!

The carrier is T-Mobile… And at some point during our journey they decided they don’t like the idea of unlimited internet. Now, even with the best signal possible, we only achieve about the same speed as dial-up (24kbps) Last night it was only 8kbps. To give you some idea what this means, we need at least 10mbps to broadcast a reasonably good video. 15mbps or higher is best. The speed we now have, because they have limited the bandwidth, is almost good enough to check email if you’re willing to wait 30 minutes for it to download.

The Airsey II was an expensive device to purchase. Plus, each month there is a usage fee (typical of any hotspot). I called the company we bought this from and was told about a workaround. I ordered the parts today and expect to have the items by Friday. I’m told this will work well for our needs. We’ll see….

Aside from all the things mentioned here, Kathy & I are doing well. As I mentioned, we’re tired and ready for all this to be behind us. Now, more than ever, we can see light at the end of that proverbial tunnel. Another week and we’ll have most things dealt with. Is there more? Oh sure… There’s always more. We’re in a 40′ RV. I suppose it’s to be expected.

I’ll pair my computer with my iPhone tomorrow to provide (maybe) a broadcast on both your private page and the public page, too… Well, provided it works as well as I suspect it will : )

BTW… I bet you’re wondering how we feel about being in the Phaeton after all this. I would if I were on your side of these events. Well, Kathy & I really love the idea of this being our home. It feels really good being here in the Phaeton, no matter where we are. As we see it, had we not gotten hit by the careless driver or had the oil pump fail all we would be thinking about is what the next thing is that we’re looking forward to doing, the next broadcast, the next location to share with you all… And where this adventure takes us next. We are determined to keep going, and we are excited to include you as we go.

Best Wishes, Folks!
Jerry & Kathy