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    Harrisburg, NC
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    With Pets
  1. X2 on Protect-A-Tow: I just got back from a 3500-mile trip to Colorado using my brand-new Protect-A-Tow. Two hours into the trip, the spreader bar self-destructed and flew off the coach. I found a piece of it laying on the PAT at the next stop. I tied the center loop up to the middle of the tow bar as a way to support the middle of the PAT and that worked pretty well for the rest of the trip. Having heard about problems with rear exhaust, before leaving I bought some heat shield material from Amazon and fashioned it to the PAT over the part where it would touch the exhaust pipe. Good idea, but poor results as the material eventually shredded itself from the velocity of the exhaust (it wasn't burned). Finally, when the PAT is attached it rubs against the baseplate attachments on the toad, so after 3500 miles it is worn through in those two parts. I guess I chalk this up to a good idea in theory, but not a very good solution after all. I didn't have any issues with rocks or chips getting on the toad, which is good. I might have to look for another alternative as I think the Protect-A-Tow is going in the trash.
  2. ***Adding return trip info*** 2015 Fleetwood Expedition 38K, Cummins ISB 6.7L, 360HP towing a 2013 Ford Flex. Generally run 63-64 mph on cruise control. Charlotte NC to Greeley CO via I-40 and I-70, 1647.1 miles, 8.4 mpg overall, 195.5 gallons used. I find the dash monitor to be very, very accurate on fuel used. When I stop to fill up, I usually come within a fraction of a gallon of the monitor reading, so I feel comfortable with the numbers above. Heading back home tomorrow, I'll post the return trip numbers when I have them. Greeley CO to Charlotte NC via a more northerly route (I-80 across Nebraska/Iowa/Illinois then down through Indiana/Ohio/West Virginia/Virginia/North Carolina), 1743.2 miles, 8.6 mpg overall, 202.1 gallons used. Considering how much wind there was on the way home and the multiple climb/descend cycles of I-77 through the Appalachians, I'm surprised the numbers were that good. But I'll take it! Oh yes, I estimate my average price per gallon for diesel on this trip was about $2.48. Some higher, some lower.
  3. I did my first mountain climb this weekend in my 2015 Expedition, Cummins ISB 360. I know for a fact when I left home the coolant level in the reservoir was more than half-full of pink coolant. I climbed about 3,500 feet into the mountains of North Carolina (air temperature about 90 degrees). On the grade, when the temperature needle reached the half-way point I heard the cooling fan come on and the needle promptly went back down. About 10 miles short of my destination the check engine light came on with "Low Coolant Level" in the display, although the engine seemed to be operating normally. I continued to my destination and checked the coolant reservoir and found that it was down almost to the bottom. After doing several web searches and finding others with what seemed like similar issues, I decided to add coolant and hope to make it home. I also compared my coolant with my neighbor's rig which had the same engine. Owner's manuals in hand, I took off in my toad and went to the nearest town on Saturday morning but no auto parts store had the type of diesel coolant I needed, and I wasn't excited about adding another type/color. I called West Carolina Freightliner in Asheville, and they said they had what I needed and their parts counter would be open until noon. I managed to arrive there at 11:55 and bought 2 gallons of Detroit Diesel pink coolant. Whew! After about 4 hours of running around, I was back at my coach where I mixed the coolant with distilled water and filled the reservoir until it was well above the middle, actually near the top. It took almost a gallon of 50-50 mixture. Long story short, the trip home (200 miles) was uneventful and the coolant level appeared to be unchanged from when I filled it. I'm trying to figure out whether this was a one-time thing or whether I should pursue it further with Freightliner/Cummins. I am planning a trip to Colorado in early October (not into the mountains), about 1650 miles each way, and I really would like not to get hung up with major problems along the way. If anyone here has had similar issues, I appreciate any advice!
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