Thursday, February 25, 2010

Uh-Oh, Lot's of Trouble

First of all, Welcome to 2 new "Followers" on my RV blog.  A great big THANK YOU goes out to Ted, Sam and Donna!  I appreciate your interest in my blog so very much.  I hope you will leave a comment or two from time to time.

Today was day 2 of our trip back up to Tumwater and it started out great and went downhill in a big way after lunch.  I'll skip the first part and post on that another day in the near future.  We had stopped at a Pilot Truck Stop in Medford, Oregon.  We found a spot to park the MH and car back by the trucks and I fixed us a sandwich to enjoy while we played some more gin rummy (I'm now ahead).

After lunch, we got back on Interstate 5 heading North and had only gone a couple of miles when the warning system for the engine went "Ding".  Well, we've heard that "Ding" before and we knew it wasn't a good sound.  The read out said "Check Engine".  Before we could do more than let that register and begin to pull over onto the shoulder, power began to fade quickly.  Bruce did manage to get the motorhome at least out of the slow lane of traffic, but just barely.  Hmmmm.  He checked things on the dash instruments and indications were that we had enough oil pressure and all of that stuff I don't totally understand.  We went out to the back of the MH and lifted the engine cover.  Bruce checked every fluid level we had and they all read, "Normal".  We went back into the MH at that point and he turned the ignition just to see what, if anything, would happen.  Nothing.  Deader than a door nail (whatever that is).

(click on photo for a larger view)

Time to call for assistance.  We have 2 roadside assistance opportunities (one with the extended warranty and one with our vehicle insurance) and he called one of them to arrange for a tow truck.  Not a happy time as the cars and trucks were whizzing past us at high speed shaking the MH like it was an earthquake.  We also went back outside and unhitched the car from the motorhome.  I back it up a good bit and turned the hazard flashers on.  They were already on for the motorhome.

Annie was getting upset by the whole thing, so I stepped outside with her as there was a large grass area to stand safely on.  I grabbed my camera.  Of course I would!!!  One thing I know for sure, whenever anything unusual is going on....grab the camera and think about a blog post.  It took about 40 minutes before the extra large tow truck arrived.  I was expecting a burly man with large muscles and a tattoo on his arm that read "Shirley", but he was an ordinary looking guy with ordinary looking muscles.

Here are several pics of the whole, lengthy procedure while Mr. Tow Truck Driver did his job, and very well, I might add. 

I thought this next photo reminded me of the movie Wizard of Oz with the feet of the dead witch under Dorothy's house.   Mr. Tow Truck was disconnecting the drive shaft for towing.

Almost ready to go.
Now, here is where things got even more troublesome.  We told the truck driver we'd follow in our car.  He began to pull away from the shoulder and into the traffic and had no problem.  We, on the other hand, got back to our car wouldn't start!   Click, click, click was all we heard when turning the key in the ignition.  The tow driver was now down the interstate.  So, we pulled out the phone AGAIN and called for more roadside assistance.  The man was out to jump the battery in about 10 minutes.  Bruce gave him the AAA card info for service.  Then he asked the guy if we needed to sign anything?  The guy says, "No, we know all about you."  We drove over to the Witham Truck Stop to check on the MH.

We saw our dear home getting worked over to find the source of the problem.

Now, the situation is this.....we had our breakdown around 2:30 pm.  By the time we got to the truck stop it was 4:30.  They were checking the Cummins engine and the Freightliner chassis with their diagnostic equipment.  We went and got some quick dinner and were back around 5:30.  They still had no answer.  We waited another hour and decided to call it a day and go to the hotel for the night.  At this time, the service tech reports that everything with the engine and chassis is checking out OK and it seems to be an Allison transmission issue, which they do not service.  OK, take care of it in the morning.....we're leaving.  Good Night!

Until next long for now!


Rick and Paulette said...

So sorry, Margie, I hate to hear that kind of stuff as I know how upsetting it must be. However, I'm glad you're all safe that's the main thing and they will find the problem with the MH and get it fixed. At least there's no leaking oil or obvious signs of damage so hopefully it will be some minor, but obviously important, little part!


That sure has been a nasty bit of luck for you folks. And the car not starting either. Wonder if it's an electrical issue that somehow not only knocked out your coach but your car too. Dam those Gremlins!!!!

Margie M. said...

I agree, Al. Seems a little suspicious with the 2 vehicles going out at the same time. We'll get it figured out! They can't keep us down for the count!

Carol K said...

I hope tomorrow will be a better day for you, Margie. Thanks for keeping us updated about your trip home.

Wayne and Roberta said...

Sorry to hear about your breakdown hopefully they can get it fixed and have you back on the road soon.

Glad you only had to wait 40 mins for the big tow truck. Two years ago we broke down on I-80 95 miles outside of Reno and waited 2 1/2 hours for a tow tuck to arrive, also with the big trucks whizzing on by us.

Good Luck !!!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Glad you had your emergency towing all in place and seems like they were careful on how to tow a big rig. So many times we hear of folks who call in and get the wrong towtruck sent out or a newbie who don't know what he is doing. You are safely off the road and that is what counts. Good luck on the repairs and let us know what it is!

Karen and Steve

sue and doug said...

sorry to hear about your roadside troubles..hope all is fixed soon!..maybe its telling you not to come back to Washington state?? by the way? far is Tumwater from the B.C border??

Jerry and Suzy said...

Oh me oh my. At least you knew where the tow truck guy was taking your motorhome. If he'd just said "follow me" and you couldn't, you have had to search all over creation to find your home on wheels! Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully a better one!

Phyllis said...

OH no, I know just how you feel after our truck breaking down on an Interstate 400 miles from home on Thanksgiving Sunday. Those cars and truck flying by.

Anxious to hear about the outcome. I will keep checking.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Ouch! Hate to see a Winnebago in this spot. Been there once myself. Hope they find the problem and it is a simple fix.

Cindy said...

Praise God for all your great ins. coverage.This is a must!!!Just think no ins. you would be camping on the side of the hwy..or paying a huge amount of money for towing. Good lesson for all of us. Hang in there.

The babies are here..5.4 and 5.1 birth rates. All are doing fine. Thanks for praying for them!!


NWlambear said...

WOW...when it pours (so to speak). Just glad you all are okay. Frustrated I'm sure. And...WOW..that is a really big towtruck!! And you car going out also.....geeeeeze. ((hugs)) Tricia