Mackerritcher State Park – RV Engine Problems

After having to cancel our trip to the ocean in mid August, I was luckily able to get a great site at Mackerritcher SP for just three nights at the beginning of September.  However, we had to be out of there for the Labor Day weekend and all other nearby camping facilities I found were booked up.

We had been so looking forward to the cool ocean breezes and fresh air after dealing with triple digit heat and smoke from the California wild fires.  The five hour drive to Ft. Bragg went well.  Of course the curvey mountain road from Willits to Ft. Bragg is always challenging on the nerves but otherwise the ride was just fine.  Until we pulled into Ft. Bragg and heard all the screeching noises.

We were able to get to the campground but full of anxiety over what the heck was wrong with our motor home.  I crawled under and over the engine and the undercarriage but couldn’t find any obvious easy fix.  By this time it was after 5pm and all possible repair places were closed.

The next morning I called the only RV repair shop in town who informed they only do RV work, not engine work.  They referred me to a truck repair shop who wouldn’t even be able to look at it for another three weeks.  However, they refered me to Adam’s Auto Repair, who said to bring it right in and they would take a look.

Adam, the owner, was a terrific guy who diagnosed it immediately as an AC compressor problem.  Both bearing and clutch were shot and could seize up at any time.  This could cause the serpentine belt to burn up, which would be a major problem.

With some back and forth with ideas on how to get us up and running so we could go home, they finally found a new compressor in Sacramento through NAPA auto parts and had it just in time by Friday morning, our last day before we had to leave.  Adam got it in and running nicely, and we were on our way home by 2pm.  The RV actually sounded better than before.

A couple of the days were overcast and kinda cold, good for reading.  We did have one day we hiked around the park.  Saw an amazing display of pelicans diving into the water for fish.  Had to be almost a hundred of them.  Here is an 11 minute video of the trip and the section with the pelicans starts around 5:45 point.

We went into Mendocino and walked around, always charming.  Other than that it was not our best visit to the north coast area.  We didn’t even ride the bikes we brought with us.  A bit overwhelmed with worry.  Oh well… sometimes things just don’t meet up to your expectations.  It happens.

Here are some pics:

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

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