We ended up with Louis, the rig of our dreams, because our previous motorhome blew an engine at just over 5000 miles. We dealt with that nightmare for over six weeks before getting settled into our new home. Which goes to show that something good comes out of the worst of times.
But it works the other way as well. Your air conditioner blows up at home? That's a major expense for a homeowner.
Last Friday, we assumed we would have an easy day of travel, just over two hours. I think we jinxed ourselves. Somewhere outside of Cleveland, alarms starting blaring. We pulled over and realized that we had lost all coolant and who knows what else. So, we spent an hour at the side of the interstate, waiting on a tow truck. If you want to give your heart thrills, pull beside the interstate for a while and feel the pull of air as the big rigs go speeding by you.
Interstate Towing did a great job in getting there, getting us hooked up and on the road to a Freightliner Service Center. But, there is nothing more depressing than driving in your truck, seeing your home being towed. Interstate towed Louis to Hans' Freightliner Service Center. I took the German name as a good sign. The hopes were dashed again when we got inside and we were told they wouldn't even look at it until the following Wednesday. I guess I looked ready to throw a tantrum. Our tow truck driver drew the Service Manager to the side and asked to try and help us out since this was our home. Mike Hall, the manager assured us that they would look at it that afternoon, in case it was something simple. At that point, I could have cried in gratitude.
It looked like a simple fix. Young Brad replaced hoses and clamps and worked overtime to get us back on the road the same day. What a kind young man he is. Sure enough, by evening time, it looked like were set, after paying them $900. Did I mention that no repairs on a diesel engine are cheap?
We made it five miles down the road when it happened again. We pulled into a parking lot and called Hans'. They sent someone out to help us limp back to the Freightliner lot. They fixed it, we hit the road, and five miles later, we were back in the same parking lot.
When we got back to Hans'. it was obvious that there was something more serious going on. Yep, the EGR cooler was bad. At this point, it was dark and we spent an uncomfortable night in Louis, getting up early to find out the verdict. Because our rig is a 2008, Monaco no longer makes the parts we needed. Everything would have to be retrofitted. It looked like the parts may get there by Wednesday. We knew we didn't have the water to stay in the rig that long, so I started looking for a hotel that would take two dogs and not charge us a fortune. After a couple of hours, I achieved success, but it wasn't easy.
In the meantime, Dave was trying to ensure that our Gen Set switch worked. This allows the generator to kick on automatically when the battery goes below a certain point or the temperature reaches a designated temp. Since this was Saturday, Hans' closed at 4 and we were rushing like crazy, trying to see if the switch worked. Finally, at 3:57 p.m., the generator kicked on. In case anyone would think that this was not important, without power, we would lose everything in our fridge and freezer, and I had just stocked it.
Off we went to the hotel. Pizza delivery and adult beverages was our dinner. The poor dogs were just lost and trying to keep them quiet and not barking at every little noise consumed us.
I'll make the rest of this short. We hung around in the hotel, making twice daily trips to Hans' to check the fridge and progress. They got the parts Tuesday and hoped to have it finished by Wednesday, along with a $4,000 bill. It seemed that as soon as they go one thing fixed, something else would go bad and have to be replaced. Our emotions were all over the place, not knowing from one minute to the next if we would be leaving Wednesday.
We also decided to cancel our plans to head to Michigan. At this point, we felt that we were better off doing minimal driving until we knew everything would work and continue working. We lucked out and got a two month reservation at Lake Monroe Village just outside Bloomington, IN.
Wednesday, late morning, we paid our bill, and hit the road. We decided that we wouldn't hook up the truck. I would just drive it. Off we drove, happy to be back on the road. An hour outside Cleveland, we stopped at a rest area to let the dogs out. Ten minutes later - yep, coolant all over the parking lot. It looked like the leak was from the hoses that were first replaced Friday night. We called Hans' and they sent the original mechanic back out. Brad got there after an hour, and sure enough, there was a problem with a clamp he used when making the original repair. It took a while but he got it fixed and he followed us for a couple of exits. The hoses held.
By this time it was already 4 pm and we had a 5 hour drive ahead of us. Dave wanted to push through and get to Indiana. I wanted to stop. We drove to Indiana and made it into the campground with the last vestiges of light. The ladies at the camprgound were phenomenal in ensuring we had a place to rest.
The good news is that the repairs held up. But we know that we need to get some extensive preventive maintenance done before we hit the road again. So, we've decided to cancel our plans to go out west next year and postpone it for a year to allow us to stay close to home and save money for the work we want done.
Now, I need to find campgrounds in areas that will work for winter and summer.
And our new home for the next two months? We ended up moving this morning to the original campsite we were assigned after they got some electric work done. They're pretty booked with seasonals and there is a lovely, big tree at our campsite. The paved patio is very nice.
In the meantime, it's 95 degrees outside and as humid as it would be at home. We're right across from the pool and I plan to avail myself of its use tomorrow. But our main priority in this next week is to rest and recuperate from the ups and downs of the last week.
Our plans are on hold for a year and while depressing, it's ok. I don't want to break down in the deserts of Arizona, so I'll wait and sit. Impatiently.
We owe a big thank you to Mike, Dave, Rob, Ted and Brad at Hans' Freightliner, as well as our wonderful tow truck driver whose name I neglected to get.
Thank you also to Danielle at Baymont Inn who saw were at the end of our rope and worked overtime to get us settled.
And thank you to Lake Monroe Village who got a different answer at least a dozen times on when we would get there and still took care of us.
Lastly, we owe my mom a big thank you. We wouldn't have made it without her. She's always been our biggest champion and she proved it again during this last misadventure.
And now, I'm going to bed.