The Camper Saga
Bob Alzapiedi brought his camper with him. He brought it down last time, and it was very valuable. If a driver needed a long rest, you could lay down in the camper. It also has a generator, so power could be supplied to a site.
When we got back on the road Sunday after mass at LSU, the camper had trouble climbing the hill for the on-ramp. It would buck and sputter. We got it moved off of the road, and after a bit it started back up. It behaved fine the rest of the way to Lake Charles.
Tuesday morning it acted up again. When the engine was hot, and then allowed to sit for a bit, it would have trouble starting, and would buck and sputter. Bob stopped at the Wal-Mart and got some carburetor cleaner. He met up with us at the Conner's work site later.
We contacted some people here in Lake Charles, and the put us in touch with Billy Fontbont, a good mechanic. We left the camper with him Wednesday night so he could try and determine the problem. We are now short one vehicle, but there is enough room in the other vehicles.
Billy had some trouble reproducing the problem, but by Friday had narrowed the problem down to a manifold leak that was sending hot exhaust around the engine. The heat had melted some coils and other parts. He patched the manifold, and replaced the melted coils.
We got the camper back at 6:00 PM Friday night. We packed up, and left the retreat center about 7:00 PM. We drove to Sonics for supper, and then went to the Citgo next door for gas. The camper barely made it from the Sonics to the Citgo. It stalled three times going the 500 yards. We called Billy, and he came out to take a look. There is still a sensor that is not working properly. He got the camper started again, and got the camper back to his shop, which is up the road in Moss Bluff. With reluctance, we are leaving the Alzapiedi 's and Bill Madden back at the retreat center. They can stay there no problem. Bob called us on the road on Saturday, and told us that the camper would not be ready until Monday. So, they are having a mini-vacation in Louisiana. They have rented a car, and are going to the beach on Sunday.
The camper got back on the road on Wednesday, March 17, but had the same problem appear in Alabama on Thursday. It is currently at a dealership being repaired.