Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another RV Repair and On To Plan B

Well, the saga continues.  As I reported in the last post the stop engine light came on again while we were in Oklahoma. It seems that it is happening whenever we stop and the engine is idling. Even though the folks at Woodward Diesel could not work on the rig they where extremely helpful.  They put it on their computer and had a mechanic check out a couple of things that could have caused damage if we continued to drive.  They assured us it was ok to continue on and gave us the numbers of people in Kansas to contact.  They did all this and charged us nothing.  To bad they could not do the work, I am sure they would have done a good job. 

After spending the weekend in Dodge City (blog to follow), we headed to Cummins in Garden City for a Monday afternoon appointment.  With all the information we provided them from all our repair slips going back to the first turbocharger in 2009 and the first stop engine light issue last September and their hands on look beyond what the computer said, they diagnosed the problem as a bad wiring harness which they could have delivered by Tuesday afternoon.  The bad news was we could not stay in the rig so we needed to go to a motel.  We stayed at the Comfort Inn and it turned out to be a very nice place with a wonderful staff.  The morning complimentary breakfast was served on real plates and each evening they had a free sandwich in the bar. During the winter months they offer free soup in the evening.  If you are ever traveling through Garden City, Kansas, the Comfort Inn is a great place to stay.  On Tuesday afternoon we returned to Cummins and were happy to see they were hard at work installing the new harness.  I only realized what a big job it was going to be when they had me open the slides so they could get to the access panel from inside the bedroom in order to get to the engine to install it.  After working four hours on Wednesday they were still not done so it was back to the Comfort Inn.  By noon on Wednesday Billy had the rig ready for a test drive and for the first time in the last few trips the stop engine light did not come, Hoooooraaaaay!!!!!!! We hope that this is the end of this issue and we can begin our summer travels.
Here is Nanc with the wiring monster.  It was over six feet long with 17 connections.  She is smiling because we had not yet received the bill.  That said, we were happy with the way the people at Cummins in Garden City approached the problem and the effort they put into getting the job done.  Only time will tell if their fix was the right one.  It does make me wonder if Cummins in Idaho Falls and Houston just took the easy way out and repaired the first thing on the list of defaults that the computer printed out.  Having your rig worked on at so many different places around the country is a problem that all fulltimers face and there is no way around it.

All these repairs have set us back both time wise and financially so we have decided that we are not going to Alaska this summer.  The thought of being miles away from a repair shop and having to wait days or weeks to get parts, as happened to friends of ours last summer, is not a pleasant one.  We figure that Alaska will always be there.  As I write, we have driven two days without a problem and are surrounded by mountains in Alamosa, CO staying with our friends Jim and Bobbie Chapman.  We plan to explore this area and then work our way north to the Canadian Rockies.  That was to be part of our Alaska trip. Then we plan to head slowly east across Southern Canada or the Northern US.  We hope to be back in WashPA by the beginning of August.  We have friends in both Canada and the US that we hope to see along the way.  While we are disappointed, these kinds of things are just a part of the lifestyle that we live.  As Nanc always says, life is what happens when you are making other plans.  So on to Plan B.  


Judy Luke Rinehimer said...

Hope the problems are resolved. Say hello to Jim and Bobbie for us. We loved the Canadian Rockies. If you are in Calgary for the Stampede, we found a residental RV Park on the south side and rode their light rail train into town. Drop us a note if you want the specifics.

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Typical, I am sure you are right in that they took the easy way out.
Anyway sorry we won't see you in Alaksa but safe travels and we will see you down the road!

Bobbie and Salvatore said...

Hope this fixes the problem for good. Sorry you won't make it to Alaska this summer, but understand the decision. Enjoy your travels!!

Suzycue said...

I was raised in Woodward OK! Lots of good folks there. Too bad they couldn't complete the job! Have fun and be safe!

Jim and Bobbie said...

Sure glad we get to have you visit with us for a few days though.

ladynomad said...

Glad to hear you might have found the problem. Sorry you won't make it to Alaska this summer. And BTW, I have always thought Garden City, KS, was a neat little place to visit. They also used to have a small, free zoo.