Let me just start with saying thank you, THANK YOU.
If you are reading this Thank you.
If you called our number in the last two months, Thank YOU.
If you sent us a DM in the last two months, Thank you.
If you emailed us in the last two months, Thank You.
If you asked a friend of a friend about us in the last two months, Thank You.
Seriously Thank You.
Every single one of those little touchpoints helped me to keep it together. We were thiiiiiiissss close to not having a season this year. Which for a seasonal business is the equivalent of calling it quits. Literally it's Saturday the 17th, as recently as Thursday this week I had begun to accept that we just weren’t going to open this year. I had begun writing a completely different newsletter even.
But guess what………WE ARE GONNA OPEN!!!!!!!!!
All the radical black boy joy is coming back to the Tacoma waterfront, booking is available starting Saturday the 24th. I’ll do my best to do two classes a day on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you are reading this, bookings are open and available.
I’ll double-check the store to make sure that we have merch available too! I promised that if you sign up to the newsletter you would get the first notice for reservations so CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION WITH US. I won’t make the public announcement on our socials for the next 12 hrs so get at it.
So I’m sure you want to know what the hell happened to May and Early June, it was beautiful why weren’t we open? Honestly, it broke my heart every day we looked at the weather and it was perfect outside.
Back in April I went to start the bus and she refused to turn over.
Just a desperate chug chug chaaaa, no smoke, no spark, and eventually the battery died from my repeated attempts. So I broke out the tool box, again. you guys remember the petsmart alternator fiasco right? So figured it couldn’t be that serious. Plugs or fuel filter maybe. After a week of trouble shooting. I had:
-recharged the battery
- checked the plugs,
-checked air intakes
-checked the ecu
-checked door alarms (it’s a bus thing)
-checked hatch alarms (also a bus thing)
-replaced the fuel filters
-checked the entire fuel system from the tanks (at the back of the bus) to the filters
I got to the fuel system and was barely getting any fuel to the engine, the filter housing was filling but there just wasn’t any real fuel pressure at the engine. This left the one big unknown, the Reddit fuel pump. I consulted with the reddit crowd (yes, Reddit) and the consensus was that this was likely the culprit provided all my other tests were accurate. One test for the ECU (the electronic “brain” that controls the engine function) was a little weird but I was pretty confident that I had it right. Sadhigh-pressurely this is also one of the most expensive parts to replace on the engine. It literally costs more than the bus. I hadn’t given up yet though. Until I tried to find a mechanic to come to a field to look at the bus. That’s when things got dark. If you were looking to hear from me in an email this is why you didn’t, I’m sorry. I just couldn’t boss very well at this point.
I called around for another few weeks before I got a mobile tech from twin brothers in Bellevue to come out to the farm to look at the bus. Omar validated my findings and began researching the fuel pump.
Somewhere in here, Rusty got deathly sick after ingesting an entire cat toy. Safe to say the depression is acute at this point.
Family this is when Omar stepped up. This man worked magic, the part took weeks to get here. It took three days to replace.
Just one part.
Took three days.
I am a halfway capable mechanic but when I really looked at the position of the fuel pump I knew there was no way I was going to get it out by myself. Much less without causing more damage.
I got the call from Omar that he had successfully replaced the pump on Thursday and Friday we test-drove the bus.
Ya’ll know how much I love driving this thing. And now she hums right along happy as clam.
So valuable lessons learned for you folks looking to buy a bus. Cummins engines have a high-pressure fuel pump that generally dies at or on 150,000 miles. It’s a known problem. For the record, our bus has 215,000 miles on her give or take a few. We’d like to have her long enough to replace the pump again.
Special thanks to Omar at Twin Brothers Diesel, servicing all your vehicular needs. Seriously saved our season.
Thank you to the community that continues to show up and support us every year
See you on the water
~ Doug and Rusty (eater of cat toys)