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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, May 1, 2015

I only drove one mile today, but what a day it was

Since I only had about 100 miles to drive today to Nevada City County Fairgrounds, I dawdled a bit in the morning.  Fixed a filling breakfast and headed out about 10:30.  First stop was a Sinclair station to fill the gas tank a half mile down the road.  It turned out that that’s as far as I got.

Put about 60 gallons in the tank, hopped back in the rig and started up the engine.  When I put it into drive, a warning light appeared on the dash, the rig wouldn’t move, and I couldn’t turn the steering wheel at all.  Oh oh.  The last time this happened, I spent three weeks in a repair shop parking lot in Indiana.  That was four years ago, and the computer motherboard had to be replaced.  I shut the engine off, then tried a couple of more times, but it was a no go.  Crying face

The warning light said to have the engine serviced soon.  I just did that two weeks ago!  No choice but to call my roadside assistance.  They said a tow truck would be there in an hour.  Yeah, right.  To make a long story a bit shorter, the tow truck showed up about 2:30, and could only tow rigs under 30’.  Yes, I had stressed that the rig is 38’, a gas pusher, and weighs 26,000 lbs.  So another call was put in for the proper tow truck.  It was supposed to arrive in a half an hour.  Yeah, right.

In the meantime, they’re having a heat wave in the valley here, and the temps inside the rig rose to 94*.  I didn’t feel comfortable turning on the generator since I was still right next to the gas pumps.  You know all that stuff about sparks and such.  Didn’t want to blow the place up.

Okay, so it’s 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, there’s no tow truck in sight, and the towing company won’t answer their phone.  For the fourth time today, I call my roadside assistance.  While I’m waiting for a call back from them, one of the tire repair guys from this truck stop comes over to say he’s wondering why I’ve been sitting at the gas pumps for five hours.  I give him the story, and he asks to look at my engine.  All you can see is the radiator unless your crawl under the rig.  He doesn’t do that, but checks the oil instead.  Then he asks me to start it up so he can listen to how it sounds.  It sounded fine to him.  Then he says, put it into drive.  Hesitantly, I push the D button.  Guess what?  No warning light, the rig moves, and I have steering.  What the heck?  He suggests I make a big circle around the parking area to see how it handles.  Everything is back to normal.

The roadside assistance lady calls back to report she also cannot get a response out of the towing company.  So I tell her to cancel the call because who wants to sit in a Ford dealer parking lot with no hookups for the weekend?  That’s where they were going to tow me if they ever showed up.  I have a Workhorse chassis with a Chevy engine.  Don’t know how productive it would have been to get towed there anyway.

The tire repair guy’s analysis was with these newer rigs with computer boards and push buttons and such, maybe I pushed the wrong buttons and perplexed the computer for a while.  

So, with the rig running, I returned to Flag City RV Resort to see if I could stay once again.  I figure it’s better to head out on a Monday morning when repair places aren’t closed down for the weekend should problems arise again.  I’ve lost my paid reservation at Nevada City, and won’t be able to visit with Nickie and Jim, but that’s life some times.

I was so relieved to plug into electricity, turn on the AC, and try to cool down from the heat even if I had only driven one mile today.  I’d appreciate any input on whether or not the confused computer sounds feasible as an explanation.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

41 comments:

  1. Judy, it should have stored an error code in the engine control module... Even the ford dealer can retrieve that code and get some idea of what happened, but your best bet is to take it to Chevy..... With some luck, it will start again and you can drive there...

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  2. Now you have an unknown problem. Do you have to be stranded before you get repairs covered? at least you were in a safe place. My thoughts are with you.

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  3. Yikes. Well, at least your life is never boring! And, you didn't blow the place up!

    Sometimes you just have to laugh...because it's better than crying!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  4. Geesh, what a lousy day. So sorry. Hopefully, you can have your problems taken care of Monday.

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  5. Well, that's a bummer! But I'm glad you got her started up again and now you're comfortable for the weekend. I like that the error codes are stored, like Rod said above. At least you 'll know what's wrong if it happens again. Good luck on Monday - hope you have no problems. :)

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  6. Wow, I feel for you.... being fairly near your area and yes it's Hot! Glad you have cooled down and hope it's not a big fix.

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  7. We had a Mother Board Problem with a vehicle, we would disconnect the battery to reboot the computer until we got back home and got it fixed. What a miserable day...hope all goes well for you on Monday:)

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  8. I was reading on the forums and found that the Workhorse chassis had problems with the parking brake system not releasing.

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  9. Oh! Those mystery malfunctions are the worst! And in EBF! Please keep us updated, when you get back on the road! so we don't worry about you stranded in the desert! Sending good vibes and positive mojo!

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  10. What a thing to have happen, and especially in the heat! How did Emma handle it? I hope you have no more trouble and are soon on your way.

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  11. I would take it to a shop that can retrieve the error code for you. My Chevrolet Trailblazer recently had a check engine light. All we had was a faulty gas tank top which we replaced.

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  12. No suggestions at all as I know nothing about what goes on under the hood... just sorry you had such a stressful day.

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  13. If it's not one thing with these rigs, it's another. Glad to hear you got out and were able to return to the campground.

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  14. Oh poor you and Emma. How did you ever manage in that heat? Who is your Roadside Assist company anyway? They were certainly no help. I think the idea others posted to check the engine error code is a good idea so that you can at least know what is was. Otherwise you'll always worry it will happen again. Years ago we bought an aftermarket computer program called Silverleaf. Newer coaches have these built in. It plugs into the engine thingy that they use to get those error codes. It gives you all sorts of engine readings as you're running which we hope will give us advance notice to any problems. The good news is that at least you have finally learned about how to do Happy Hour....it sounds like you needed one last night!
    and I believe it also gives error codes.

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  15. Yikes! I am so sorry Judy! Why is we always seem to have issues right after service work was done?

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  16. Judy, check with the RV Park and see if they have any Mobile RV Service available. Good Luck

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  17. So sorry to hear of your problem...but, it sounds like it is fixed now. Good luck with the rest of your journey.

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  18. Wondering what was hotter the outside temperature or your own. Keep cool regardless -- both ways if possible.

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  19. That sure was a long day for only having driven a mile. Hope today is better!

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  20. What a lousy day. Hopefully that will be a one-time occurrence, but it would probably be a good idea to get things checked out.

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  21. Aw, Judy, sorry for such a poopy day. Nickie and Jim will sure miss seeing you!

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  22. Oh No!!! well, at least Flag City is accessible and hopefully honored PPA. Geez....so sorry you missed out on Nevada City...I haven't been around much, so will have to go back and read the plans I guess to find out why a day delay stopped the whole deal. bummer bummer. But also really really glad that it all seems just fine again. Big hugs to you, Judy! I'll be outta commission for a time, so am wishing you well.

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  23. Glad you made it back to the campground. We have been in the shop a week and still waiting for a part.

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  24. Wow...bad news...good news...hope it stays good news!

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  25. Oh Judy I am so glad you were able to get it started and get back to a safe place. Some how I thought you had Journey and it was a diesel. I sure hope the code will expose the problem. Not knowing if something like that might happen again would be nerve wracking. Sure glad you didn't have to wait for what sounds like a terrible towing company. I hope your road side "assistance" gives them the boot and gets someone else.

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  26. I am so sorry you had this sort of day. RV electrical weirdness is just the WORST.

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  27. Having an RV not start (or move) at a gas pump is one of our nightmare situations & you just had it happen to you. Twice so far our Big EEE has refused to start for as yet still an unknown reason & we're worried it could happen at a busy gas bar just like you. What made your situation much worse was the day's heat & the problems you had with your roadside assistance company finding a reliable tow vehicle for you. I well know the stress mechanical breakdowns can bring to a person & it's not nice. Wishing you all the best in finding a solution to your rig's problem.

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  28. Wish I could answer your question, but we haven't had this type of problem (fingers crossed) but plenty of others! :) Good luck finding a resolution.

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  29. Jim agrees with Rod. He says there are lots of reasons this could happen and when that light comes on it does set an error code. The dealer can hook up his computer to yours and find out what code caused the problem. Hopefully. He also said that if you let it sit for awhile the computer should reset itself (unless it's a major breakdown) which is what yours did. Our Chevy pick up occasionally puts us in slow mode and to fix it - Jim has to turn off the truck and then open the driver's door for five minutes and something else stupid to get it to reset. I really hate computers.

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  30. Ugh--what a nightmare! Hope you find the problem and hope that lot at Jojoba Hills is available soon! :)))

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  31. Sorry that Murphy visited you, he probably heard we were on a cruise so he didn't want to waste his time and went over your way. Hope it turns out to be something simple (and cheap!), these computer driven beasts can be so finicky sometimes. Thank goodness you're somewhere where you can be cool while waiting this out.

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  32. Sorry to miss you this go 'round. Maybe next time. Hope you get away safely ... on to Oregon!

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  33. I really have little idea what the problem might be, but I have learned from experience that while it is actually working, the repair folks will not be able to find the problem, since it is performing at the moment. They will be happy, however, to change some expensive parts they "think" might be the problem.

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  34. OMG so glad it turned out okay and I agree with the repair guy - oh for the days of cars without computers that think they are smarter than humans! :) Stay cool, rest and relax!

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  35. Hi Judy, today is the 5th; haven't heard from you recently. Just hope things are okay with you!

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  36. Hope this isn't a repeat post from me, lol . Don't you just love when the tow company says they will be right out!!! Their pants are on fire!! Lol glad you are finally safe and cool!

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  37. I was worrying along with you as I read this post. There ought to be some cosmic law against this happening to people!

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  38. No No No! Such a helpless feeling when the mechanicals don't work. Stay cool while you wait for answers.

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  39. No No No! Such a helpless feeling when the mechanicals don't work. Stay cool while you wait for answers.

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  40. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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