Departing Miami and headed for the first of two LAs

The second morning in Miami the Tundra displayed the ‘check engine’ light.  This was an obvious frustration and I experienced an immediate feeling of Déjà vu. Last year, the same day before the boat show, my Ranger’s battery died in the same parking lot and almost in the same parking spot.  The Tundra was running and I didn’t have time to deal with getting waiting service, so I made arrangements to have the truck checked the day after Strictly Sail Miami ended.

After two hours the Toyota service center found that a fuel vapor return hose had come off the engine.  $105 later I was back at the motel to collect my stuff and Momma Kitty.

The destination for this leg of the trip is Louisiana (the first LA stop of two LAs) to deliver the Sage 17 displayed at the show to her owner.  I took Florida’s Turnpike diagonally across the State, passing through Orlando, and ended the day just north of Alachua, FL.  When entering FL a week prior I had purchased a SunPass.  This made for quick transit across the state as there was no need to stop to pay the tolls, and the tollway avoids the atrocious traffic on Florida’s no-charge roadways.

I spent the first night away from Miami in Travelers Campground. A nice RV park charging the usual in-season Florida expensive rate.  This RV park also featured a slightly lower cost section set up specifically for campers just wanting to stay the night.

The 'overnighter' section of Traveler's Campground puts the RV's in rows.   Each spot has hookups, though you need to zig-zag your way out if you leave before the folks parked in front.

The ‘overnighter’ section of Traveler’s Campground puts the RV’s in rows. Each spot has hookups, though you need to zig-zag your way out if you leave before the folks parked in front.

Nice and silly fake flowers 'planted' around the bathroom.

Silly fake flowers ‘planted’ around the bathroom.

Pasta dinner with veggies while whatching a movie.

Pasta dinner with veggies while watching a movie.

 

In the morning as I prepared to lower the Caribou Lite’s roof I head a ‘clink’.  Looking around I found that a pop rivet holding an elastic cord had come off.

The pop rivet looks as if it was not fully 'popped' and therefore failed.

The pop rivet looks as if it was not fully ‘popped’ and therefore failed.

 

There are elastic cords around the inside of the camper that assist pulling the camper soft sides inward when the roof is lowered.  This specific rivet held elastic to a steel ring on one of the roof lifting mechanism arms.  My solution was to tie the elastic, using a knot to, the steel ring.

The strap looped that was held by a pop rivet.

The strap looped that was held by a pop rivet.

 

I was scheduled to deliver the boat Wednesday evening, so I didn’t need to travel a lot of miles.  I drove across western Florida and stopped for the night near Escambia BayPelican Palms RV Park and Campground is simple (at some point it was a KOA based on the A-frame office building), fairly priced and clean.  As a added bonus Pelican Palms was giving out nice new bath towels for everyone staying with them in February … what a deal!

hold

The early evening weather was warm and Momma Kitty enjoyed checking out the birds through the camper’s screen door.

Overnight the cold returned and the temps fell into the low thirties.  Cold weather remains the theme for my travels during this trip.  I was having some luck as I remained south of the freezing rain and snow conditions.

The morning was chilly and sunny and the drive along the Gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi before turning north towards central Louisiana was as enjoyable as Interstate driving can be.  Late afternoon, this third day after departing Miami, I arrived at the boat owner’s house.  The plan is to stay with the owner, Steve, for a few days to provide him an introduction on how to rig and sail his Sage 17.

Steve's Sage 17 with the Tundra and Caribou Lite in the background.

Steve’s Sage 17 with the Tundra and Caribou Lite in the background.

 

The next day the Steve and I headed to Indian Creek Reservoir where Mother Nature provided high winds and cold temperatures. In addition the Tundra was once again showing a ‘check engine’ light.  Steve & I decided delay sailing.  I went to the local Toyota dealer and waited for an opening in the service schedule.

Waiting for service I enjoyed having the camper as my own waiting room.

Waiting for service I enjoyed having the camper as my own waiting room.

Momma Kitty looking over the service technician's shoulder as he ran a diagnostic on the Tundra.

Momma Kitty looking over the service technician’s shoulder as he ran a diagnostic on the Tundra.

 

The news from the diagnostic wasn’t good.  The failure, this time, is the the Air Injection Pump System.  A quick Internet search detailed this is a common problem … so bad that Toyota has extended the warranty on this specific Tundra component. The truck is covered, luckily, as the repair costs $4,000.

The parts needed for the repair are in stock (great!); but a place for both Momma Kitty and I to stay for four hour repair is needed.  Walker Toyota is great and offers the break room.  SHOUT OUT to the folks at Walker Toyota!

Momma Kitty in the Toyota break room.

Momma Kitty in the Toyota break room.

The Tundra being repaired.  The tech need to remove the entire manifold system.  At one point he climbed into the engine compartment.

The Tundra being repaired. The tech need to remove the entire manifold system. At one point he climbed into the engine compartment.

Repair completed I returned to Steve’s and we waited for better weather.  After three days Steve and I were able to go for a short sail in a lighting falling cold rain with light to moderate winds.  Indian Creek Reservoir is a nice smallish lake that would have been fun to sail if Steve and I were not freezing.  The campground on the lake’s western shore is wonderful.

After four days in Central Louisiana I left for Austin, TX, just ahead of another winter storm.  More to come in the next post.

– Dave

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