ND: Hannaford – 07/19/2016 – 07/29/2016

Hannaford, ND

Parking: Clinton A. Brown Memorial Park
Rating: 10

The Isuzu blew a nasty puff of smoke and threw a code about cylinder 2 misfiring. Back when we got the truck, we had the fuel injectors for cylinders 1 and 4 replaced, but we had left 2 and 3 alone as they were still working at the time, so it was likely that the injector was going. Of course, being in the middle of the nowhere, there are no Isuzu specialists around, and we knew from prior experience, that we were probably looking at about a week in the shop. When we chose our rig, one of the advantages was the ability to drop the pods and take the truck in for service, so it was time to exercise that option. We had hoped to be able to get to Duluth, MN, so we could sail Superior during the shop time, but it was clear we needed to get it to the shop as soon as possible. We found a little city park in the small town of Hannaford where we’d be able to leave the pods (most private RV parks will not allow a truck camper to take the camper off the truck) on the way to Fargo.

Dropping the pods does not have to be a big deal, but once again thunderstorms with high winds were expected, so leaving the pods high on the jacks was not going to be a good idea, so it turned into a much bigger job, but since this was such a private park, we were able to get them off with no one coming over to gawk and bother us.

We then loaded the motorcycles on the flat bed, and the next morning headed to Fargo. At RDO Truck Center, we left the truck and geared up for the 100 mile ride back. Unfortunately, ND was in the middle of a serious heat wave. Most motorcyclists in ND don’t seem to wear a lot of gear – no helmets and shorts are common. I think they are crazy especially since the speed limit is 80 mph on most roads (and merely 65 mph in construction zones), so we wore full gear despite the heat. About 25 miles into the ride back, I started to feel light-headed and was getting tunnel vision because I was so hot. There is absolutely nothing but farmland once you’re about two miles outside of Fargo. On this stretch of road, there weren’t even any trees for shade. We rode a few more miles when there was finally a tree-lined driveway, and we pulled over. I stripped off all my gear and drank some water taking in the breeze under the shade of the trees. I unzipped the side zippers of my pants from hip to ankle to let in some more air, and we set off again. Fortunately, either the water or the extra air did the trick because I was fine for the rest of the ride. I did end up with a nice tuxedo stripe sunburn from where the pants were unzipped on the sides of my legs (I don’t think my thighs have even seen the sun in 10 years).

This city park was a very nice facility. For $12 / night ($200 / month), it included electricity which was nice because we kept the air conditioning blasting the entire time. It was also very quiet. There were five or six RVs that had no tow vehicle on site and that we never saw a single person enter or leave. We figured that since it was so cheap (the full hook-up sites were only $15 / night and the same $200 / month), some folk were just using it for RV storage. There were also some folk there that were staying there to work in the area which is what the point of the park seemed to be since it was sponsored by the Griggs-Steele Empowerment Zone.

Hannaford is a very small town, but nearby Cooperstown had a lumber yard, a hardware store, and a grocery store, so we were all set. It’s a nice area to motorcycle with paved roads and dirt roads. Also, it’s nice riding through the incredible wind farms.

RDO replaced the fuel injectors for cylinders 2 and 3 (we weren’t going to wait for 3 to go bad down the road), did our yearly service, and updated the firmware (which would fix the velocity sensor code we would occasionally get while idling). They needed to order parts for the fuel sender (the fuel gauge didn’t read below about a half-tank) and a secondary fuel filter (recommended by Isuzu to protect the injectors for the future), so as expected, the truck was in the shop for about a week. RDO did an excellent job at an incredibly reasonable price.

We rode back to Fargo (which was a much nicer, cooler ride), loaded up the motorcycles on the flatbed, and drove back to Hannaford. The next day we loaded the pods back onto the truck, and then we were ready to continue on our journey.

Hannaford, ND