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Eugene, OR

The Airstream is moving again. This morning we towed it about two miles over to Skipanon RV & Marine to get the dead brake actuator replaced, and all went well. Joe the service guy shoehorned himself into the bedroom floor near the closet where the actuator is installed, and removed it without personal injury. That itself was impressive to watch, because Joe is a big guy and the floor area he had to lie on was extremely cramped. As he said, “I don’t get any smaller as the day goes on.”

warrenton-dead-actuator.jpgUPS dropped off the replacement unit around 10:30 and Joe had it wired in place within 30 minutes. The job was about 1.75 hours of labor in total, including a few minutes to swap our spare tire for the new one we bought this week. By noon we were on the road. It’s great when the plan comes together.

I have to acknowledge the behind-the-scenes contribution of David Tidmore at Roger Williams Airstream in Texas. David’s shop installed these brakes originally, and he made himself available to consult with me several times during this episode, offering advice and facilitating the replacement unit from Actibrake. That’s really great customer service.

There is one small problem remaining to be fixed. During the swap of the actuators, a tiny bit of air may have gotten into the brake lines. Skipanon doesn’t normally work on hydraulic brake systems, so they didn’t know how to bleed the lines. During testing of the system, I could tell that the brakes are not quite as aggressive as they were before, and I suspect air in the lines is the cause. The brakes are still very good and the trailer stops well, but it could be just a tiny bit better.

So we put some miles behind us and headed straight down to Eugene OR, where we can visit our friends at George M Sutton RV (an Airstream dealer).   I may have them bleed the brakes tomorrow, but mostly it’s a good excuse to drop in on George and Martha Sutton and say hello. George and Martha have been major supporters of Airstream Life magazine for over two years, and we’ve parked overnight in their lot every time we’ve been in Oregon. This is the third time we’ve visited with them.

By coming down to Eugene via I-5, we’ve made a conscious decision to skip the rest of coastal Route 101. Our next major destinations are in California, and the season is getting near the end for certain places at higher elevation. After a lot of discussion over the atlas, we made the tough call: we’ll skip the rest of the coast (most of which we’ve driven before) and speed up our travels through Oregon so we can get to California sooner.

If you’ve just started reading the blog in the past few months, you may be wondering about other great destinations in Oregon that we’ll be missing. Don’t worry, we’ve been to a lot of Oregon already. For a recap, see these blog entries:

Oregon Caves National Monument

Crater Lake

Bend and Sisters, OR

Medford, OR

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

I’ve discovered that just a few miles from here are the Monaco and Marathon Coach factories, and both offer factory tours. Tomorrow we’re going to drop in on at least one of them, while the Airstream is being serviced.

One Response to “Eugene, OR”

  1. Bill Kerfoot Says:

    Rich,

    Country Coach is in Junction City. Very good tour, I took 8 Airstreamers last year while we were in Salem.

    Bill

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