The Newbie Adventure – Diesel and DEF

I debated whether to actually put this story in writing, but Jim encouraged me, so here goes….

During a routine RV maintenance check last week, Jim noticed the diesel fuel gauge registered at less than 1/4 tank.  Apparently the cold spell we had here in Vegas a couple of weeks ago (during which we kept the floor heat on 24/7) ate up quite a bit of diesel.

After searching for a company that would deliver diesel to us here in the Oasis RV Park with no success, we both put on our big kid panties.  I spent several hours putting everything away, while Jim drove to Henderson to purchase a coaster wheel for the trailer tongue.  He got back after a hour and a half or so and unhooked the motorcycle trailer.  We both, very carefully, double checked the slides were all the way in, the jacks were in “travel mode”, and that everything was secure.

Finally…we were ready…. we slowly pulled out of the space, headed to the nearby truck stop.  As we traveled down the street in the RV Park, one guy ran after us and another in a golf cart chased us down….yelling and honking.

Of course, Jim stopped and inquired “What’s Up?”  The guy in the golf cart told us our trailer was not secured and ready to fall off.  WHAAAT?  We unhooked the trailer and left it in the camp site….

Newbie lesson #1:  Unhook the trailer AFTER the coach air ride suspension has aired up, or it will lift up and apparently catch the hitch on the trailer.

We stopped in the street, took off the tire covers, picked up the electrical line (that was plugged in in order for the battery tender to work), and oh, by the way, re-secured the Harley that was ready to roll out of the trailer for a ride. Whew….

On to the Truck Stop.  Unfortunately, the exit from the Park is a right turn only, and the truck stop is a left turn.  We aren’t experienced enough to make a U-turn on Las Vegas Blvd, especially now pulling the trailer.  Therefore, we drove a few miles to a local casino parking lot that was large enough to turn around, and exit at a traffic light.

We made it to the Truck Stop, and pulled into the lane that had diesel and DEF, since we were low on both.  Jim put his card in the pump….nope – have to go inside and give them an amount.  They run your card, and THEN you may pump your fuel.

While he was pumping, I scouted a way out of the truck stop that an inexperienced driver, pulling a trailer, could do.  While a bit tricky, it was do-able, and bonus – we could exit onto a side street with a traffic light.

I went back to tell Jim the good news, only to find that he was done pumping the diesel…less than 22 gallons.  Is our gauge not reading correctly?  Did we just not wait long enough for it to register before deciding the heated floors used up too much diesel?  (aren’t they electric anyway??)

Well…on to pumping the DEF fuel.  I held the pump handle while Jim opened the DEF tank (after searching for it unsuccessfully for several minutes).  When he was ready, I pushed the DEF button and he attempted to pump into the DEF tank.  Since it didn’t exactly fit right, he sprayed diesel ALL over himself.

Newbie lesson #2:  The DEF fuel is delivered by a pump handle different from the one you just used to pump your diesel.  It was hidden in an unmarked, black box, with a handle on the cover.

We finally got our diesel, our DEF and our huge refund on the card and began the journey through the back lot of the truck stop, in order to exit onto a street with a traffic light successfully.  We headed back to the Oasis RV Park with no further “lessons” to be learned.

We signed up for an RV Boot Camp but it’s not until May…..heavy sigh.

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