Road to Lubbock – Staying Cool About A Furnace

It's moving day. Our next stop is Lubbock, Texas. We woke up early in the morning and performed our routine to get the bus packed up and ready to move. By this point we have gotten pretty proficient at this routine but we still follow a checklist just in case. These checklists are vital to ensure that some of the more minor items that get over looked could cause some issues. For example, not latching the glass shower could cause it to swing open and shut during the travels and shatter it.

Amber saying farewell to the neighbors.

We are still enjoying the cooler weather. Today is going to be a high of 40 which means we'll be leaving near freezing temperatures this morning. On our way out of the park, we topped off our propane and Amber gave the horses a farewell. The property next to Coffee Creek RV resort, had quite a few cows and a couple of horses that would greet us in the morning.

Before pulling out, we stopped by the Maverick Travel Center on the other side of I-20. We picked up some breakfast and Crazy Water. Crazy Water is a type of mineral water that is bottled locally out of the town of Mineral Wells. This gave us a chance to not only pray for the journey ahead but fill up on some awesome sausage and biscuits before we began to head west on I-20 to Abilene, Texas.

On our way down the road, we found an truck wash. We have been noticing that the bus has been getting a bit on the dirty side since leaving Memphis. We realized that just about every park we have been to, they prohibit guests from washing their RVs. We kept waiting to come to a park that allowed us to wash the bus but that time never came. We broke down and paid to get it washed. While it was getting washed, the furnace kicked on and would not turn off. More on that in a bit.

We landed in Abilene and stopped by the Frontier Texas! museum. The museum was kind and allowed is to park the rig in the loop while we tour the place. The museum stepped us through a unique look at the early days of Texas giving us a sobering look at what it took to survive. The museum was an immersive experience, complete with life like animals, holograms and a three dimensional 360 degree theater experience. In hindsight, we wish we would have spent more time in Abilene, but we pressed on towards Lubbock continuing onto I-20 west.

After a few miles and turning north onto US-84 from I-20 in Texas was the highlight of our travel day. Countless wind turbines forked up out of the horizon. Eventually, we continued to drive and they surrounded us on all sides. The turbines are taller than a 30 story building and the blades are hauled around on super long semi trucks.

At the end of the fields of windmills, we came to our final destination in Lubbock. Driving through town, we passed by a shopping mall along with countless places to eat. At the edge of Lubbock city limits was the township of Wolfforth, where we will put our jacks down for the next week at Mesa Verde RV Park.

Hooked up at the Mesa Verde RV Park in Wolfforth, Texas.

The Mesa Verde RV park is managed in a unique way. After we checked in, paid and got our map, we were given our marching orders. We were told that Amber must always be accompanied anywhere on the park grounds. She could not be left alone in the bus and if caught doing so, we were going to be expelled for the park. She told us of a story of one of the permanent resident's 13 year old child discharged a firearm and penetrated an RV across the park. So, the week was a bit out of sorts and we were left looking forward to getting back on the road.

Once we got settled, I turned back to take a closer look at our furnace issue. The issue began when the truck wash cleaned the RV they used a high pressure hose. The water pushed passed the furnace cover and water accumulated on the controller board. We were inside the RV while they were cleaning it and the furnace fan but not the flame just kicked on for no reason. We always travel with the propane shutoff, so the furnace fan continued to run. We could not shut the furnace off using the thermostat and I ended up putting the RV in store mode to cut the 12v supply to the rig which stopped the furnace from running. Cutting the 12v supply also disabled the head unit, so I pulled the fuse to disable just the heater.

At the park, I had time to pull the cover off. I turned the propane on to see if perhaps maybe the furnace would dry itself out by itself. The furnace would not light and just continued to blow the air with the fuse plugged back in. I pulled out the hair dryer and thoroughly dried the off the component board and got the furnace to working normally again. That was a weight lifted off of my shoulders as I obsessively thinking about how this furnace was going to get fixed all day. Just to be cautious, I pulled the fuse out to make sure the furnace could dry out over the next day. 

The next night, we found out the hot water stopped working. After about 2 hours of troubleshooting, I learned that the 120v AC water heater is switched on by a 12v DC switch on the wall. That same switch was controlled by the furnace fuse I pulled the night prior. I re-installed the fuse and all of our appliances work great. The bright side was that I improved the water heater connections on the hot water heater for the 120 AC circuit. Other owners found that these connections were arcing and melting the wire caps.

The next day, I began calling around about the furnace. The control board on the furnace being problematic when it rains is clearly a design flaw. Atwood and Thor insist that I go through a service center to get a relocation kit which helps remedy the issue. Otherwise it will cost $136 for the kit out of pocket. For now, we will keep monitoring the situation. We have other priorities to spend RV money on (TPMS, tow dolly).

Once we pull up the jacks at Mesa Verde RV park, we are headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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