This was our 67th trip in the GMC and sort of a milestone for us – at least for me. It was a milestone because we did not have any trouble. We did come back with a list of things to fix and change, but that is normal.
Pahrump is about a 900-mile round trip and it included, as a surprise to me, the toughest hill I can remember climbing in the GMC. We have a book that lists steep hills on every main highway in the Western US and we didn’t use it. We had been to Death Valley years ago and drove from there to Las Vegas. I looked at the map and Nevada highway 160, being the most direct route to Death Valley must have been the road we took. It was not. The first half is uphill all the way capped off by a 9-mile long 6-7% grade at the top. The other side is not as steep but it is downhill all the way to town. The big thing about both sides is that there is never any relief. There is never a flat or downhill stretch. It is alway up.
But, the coach ran well. There was a definite lack of power for some reason but talking to others who also climbed the hill, I was not alone. I feel like there was a lack of power because I have climbed other hills nearly as bad and just as high and did not have as much trouble. The climb is from about 2000 feet to 5500 feet so air (oxygen) is an issue. I am thinking that my air cleaner is a large part of the problem. When we installed the new engine the dip-stick tube was in the way of installing the air cleaner because the end of the air horn hit it. My solution was to remove the funnel-shaped end of the air cleaner. Thinking about that now I realize that probably cut down the air flow significantly and may have been the problem. I will be modifying the air cleaner to fix my mistake.
A second issue, but not a new one, is engine temperature. This is not new. I noticed an increase some time ago but have not pursued it for some reason – busy, lazy, or something. I think the radiator may be partially plugged up with bugs and dirt so will take a look at that too.
A third issue was my inability to raise the rear suspension on the passenger side. Last time that happened it was the switch. I will try cleaning them again.
Overall it was a great trip and we had a lot of fun, met some new friends, and got to see some old ones.