May 7th, 2014

Rolling Stone

Good Thing We Just Replaced the Batteries

I drove over to my employer's Fremont warehouse Tuesday to deal with a computer issue happening there, and it took so long that I had to take an conference call (about what I wrote about yesterday in a friends' post; no further news today) while I was there. During the call, someone came in and said, "Does anyone here have a big old RV out there?"

I muted my phone and said, "That's mine."

"You've left your lights on."

Eek! While the driver's door has a warning buzzer if you open it with the lights on, I'd actually climbed out the side door because I'd left my computer pack in the back of the vehicle. Instead of going out the driver's door, I climbed out of my seat, went aft to get the pack, and left via the side door.

I couldn't leave the call, but one of the other people in the office took my keys and went out and shut off the lights for me. I finished the call and my remaining business in Fremont (upgrading older computers to Win7 is such a pain), then went out to the Rolling Stone and hoped for the best as I turned the key after the headlights had been on for nearly three hours. It hesitated slightly, then roared to life. What a relief!

Lisa later pointed out to me that had the battery been dead, instead of calling AAA, if I'd had a set of jumper cables (I did not, but maybe someone else at the office there did), I could have jump-started the chassis battery from the coach battery that runs the on-board services aft of the cab. That's good to know.

I drove around dealing with a couple of Fremont errands I'd been putting off until I had business there to begin with, then went to the Jiffy Lube in Newark where they've worked on my Astro for years. They recognized me on sight even without the Astro. Because I don't know the Stone's maintenance history (the previous owner actually started to keep such a log and it's still with the vehicle, but it's incomplete) and because I can't really trust the RV dealer after they did things like lie about the tires, leave the front end a mess, and paper over the busted AC seals, I bit the bullet and had them do just about everything: oil, cooling system, transmission, rear differential, fuel filter, the works. It was not cheap, but at least I have a good baseline on the vehicle and know that if something fails, it won't be for lack of proper lubrication or other fluids. Then it was back to my regular office, and by the time I ground through commute-time traffic, the alternator needle and crept back to the normal position, so I guess I'm all charged up again.