Great America Road Trip Days 42-46: Rest, Research and Repairs

Daniel and I sat in our air-conditioned hotel room, considering our options. We just got off the phone with the mechanic. The Rialta was ready to go and we could pick her up any time.

I sighed. Was it bad that I secretly wished the repairs had taken longer? I wasn’t ready to leave this comfy hotel room yet. We weren’t even sure where to go next.

Then I recognized what was going on. Fatigue. Despite parking at our friend’s house in Duluth for the past week, I still felt tired. Fatigue is something that I deal with occasionally, thanks to my bout with COVID earlier this year.

So we extended our room for a couple of extra nights and relaxed.

Suburban sunset at a strip mall near our hotel in Woodbury

The Rialta Starts Making a Strange Sound

A week ago, Daniel and I noticed a strange new sound emanating from the Rialta. We were driving through endless miles of corn fields on our way to the Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption when we first heard it. The noise sounded like a whine or a vibration coming from the coach somewhere. Daniel thought that it sounded like a weed-whacker.

The noise was intermittent, but it primarily happened as we accelerated. We checked around the outside of the vehicle but couldn’t see anything obvious, like a muffler hanging on the ground.

When the sound didn’t improve, we decided to get it checked out. The motorhome was almost due for an oil change anyway. But where? Rialtas are notoriously hard to service as few mechanics will work on them.

After asking around on Facebook, we located a shop in Woodbury, Minnesota that could accommodate our vehicle.

Our Rialta was filthy so we gave it a bath before heading to Duluth. It was nice to bring a clean rig to the mechanic.
Hark! A car wash that will accommodate our motorhome!
The windows on this thing get splattered with bugs a lot. We wash the windows *constantly*. Photo by Daniel.

A Visit to EuroTech Auto Service

Daniel and I weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled up at EuroTech Auto Service. Who knows what they would find or how long we’d be waiting for repairs.

We didn’t have to wait long to find out. A few hours later, the shop texted us a link to their findings. Thankfully, nothing major was wrong. After some trial and error, they traced the noise to vibration from within the exhaust system. The sound went away after they tightened up some mounts and insulated the parking brake actuator rod from the exhaust pipe.

They also found a bunch of other minor issues which we declined to fix. We’d deal with those items if they actually developed into problems down the road.

Dropping off our car at EuroTech Auto Service in Woodbury

The Case of the Leaky Window

We took advantage of our time in Woodbury to address another issue with our RV. Last week, we noticed that our pillows were wet after a night of heavy rainfall. Daniel traced the issue to a leak in the rear right window directly above our bed.

So he bought some caulk and researched how one properly seals a Rialta window. He sealed both windows for good measure and they look pretty good if I do say so myself. We’ll find out for sure if the problem is resolved when it rains again.

Daniel the caulking master

Where to next? The COVID Dilemma

When we started our road trip, Daniel and I planned to follow I-90 to its terminus in Boston. Neither of us have been to the Northeast before and we looked forward to visiting Maine’s rugged coastline.

There was one small problem with this plan, however. Most states in the Northeastern United States have implemented fairly strict policies regarding tourism. That part of the country is doing a great job managing COVID and they’re keen to keep it that way.

I have no interest in entering an area without adhering to local COVID-related travel guidelines. So I spent the better part of a day acquainting myself with the various rules in each state. Every state has a COVID travel policy and they are all slightly different from one another.

I determined that it is possible for us to visit the Northeast, but it will be a somewhat complicated process as we move from state to state. Stay tuned for more details on that in the future.

Where are we now?

We are at a hotel in Woodbury, Minnesota!

Dates: August 16-20, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Days 42-46

Starting Location: Duluth, MN
Ending Location: Woodbury, MN
Miles Traveled: 199.9
Total Trip Mileage: 4182.1

For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:

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