Don't worry, the promised blogs on Moab with two National Parks, Arches and Canyonlands, is still coming. I thought I'd update you as to where we are at this moment and what we're up.
Tuesday, May 20, was a travel day for us from Torrey UT to Moab UT. I think it was our shortest hop since we left Florida, just about three hours. It was a great drive back through Capitol Reef. Just as we drove through the town of Moab, I noticed Al was going pretty slow, even though it was through the busy area. His flashers came on, and he radio'd me that he was losing power, and the truck was not running right. We did make it the mile to the campground, and got in a site. There is a Ford dealer right in Moab, we passed it on the way, so he went right down there. They couldn't look at it right away, but told us to bring it down on Friday. Can do.
We proceeded to get hooked up, and I heard some unmentionable language from the driver side, Apparently water had started pouring out of the filter system when Al turned on the water. For whatever reason, the gasket had come loose during travel. After some fiddling with it, back in place and good to go. As I was putting out the slides, I noticed during travel the recliner had once again sprung up, but knowing it has a tendency to do this, I only open the slide a teeny bit so I can shimmy down there and check it before opening it fully. So, it wasn't a great start to the week in Moab.
Thursday we went to Canyonlands, a pretty good drive out to the end Of the Island in the Sky district, when I noticed the back tire of the TB looked a bit low. As Al was getting out the pressure gauge, I found a screw stuck in the tire. Geez! Of course, we have all our hiking and picnic gear in the cargo area that needs to be taken out to get at the equipment to change the tire, but we got it all done, spare put on and off we went. Looks like Friday is going to be a mechanic day!
So Friday we ended up with four new tires on the TB (it was determined that they were pretty much on their last legs anyway), as well as an oil change. Of course, the truck ran fine going down to Ford, and the diagnostic computer didn't pick up that anything was wrong. Figures. So that got an oil change and a new fuel filter. Expensive day. But wait, it gets better!
As Al was dumping tanks Monday night in preparation for us leaving Tuesday morning, he sees a drip coming from the bottom of the coach. In the vicinity of the black tank. OMG please don't tell me we have another cracked black tank! We figure we'll be at our home spot for the summer on Wednesday, so once we're there, he'll drop the belly panel and see if he can figure out what is going on.
Tuesday we hook up, and with a few prayers and everything crossed, we take off. We're headed for Evanston WY for one night, then a short three hour ride to Luton's Teton Cabins in Moran, WY where we're working for the summer. The truck runs great, all through Utah, starts fine after each stop, and we're slowly breathing a sigh of relief, and enjoying the ride. Once we got past the town of Price, UT the scenery became awesome, and we started seeing green again! Lots and lots of green grass :-). Through Salt Lake City, then Park City, and into Wyoming. Evanston is just several miles into the state, and we pulled off the highway to the campground for the night, Phillips RV Park. As I got out of the TB to check in at the office, I hear Al revving the engine, and a dreaded knocking sound coming from it. He said it just started as we exited the highway. I looked up Ford dealers in the area and saw one less than a mile away. Whew! We never turned it off, just unhitched and he went straight there. Back in five minutes; it's no longer a Ford dealer. Ugh. The recommended the closest one.....over 30 miles away.....double ugh. So we fired up the laptop and started looking. We called the first one....can't really deal with the diesel trucks. They recommended Park City. They can't look at it until next week. There's a Pilot truckstop a couple miles away, so he went down there to see if they can help or recommend someplace. They can't, and the local diesel mechanic they recommended said he couldn't do it. We're getting quite frustrated at this point, if you can imagine. Finally, a Ford dealer in Morgan UT will take a look at it Wednesday. He didn't recommend driving it there though. Now, we have to get it there!
Off I go to call Good Sam Roadside Assistance. I am happy to say, once again, we had a good experience. Within an hour a tow operator arrived at the campground with a flatbed, and took our poor truck off to Morgan UT for the night. At that point, all we could do is wait for them to run a diagnostic and we'll see how bad it is. The error codes were showing a fuel injector issue. At least this time there is a code that something is wrong!
We called the service department first thing this morning to let them know, if they didn't see it, that the truck was there and to throw ourselves on their mercy to get a diagnostic done quickly so we can make a game plan. We are supposed to start work on Sunday. We need to figure out how we're going to get there in case of the worst case scenario...which I always plan on! Dean from service promised to call us as soon as he knew anything. In the meantime, I went and paid for two more nights, we made some calls, and figured if we're stuck here, might as well clean the coach good. So we tackled that.
Well Dean did call a couple of hours ago and the news is not good. As readers of RV Dreams will recall, we have a "Howard and Linda" situation. When they started the engine and opened things up, they found we are having blow-by in the crankcase. This means a new engine. Right now we are waiting on more calls that have been put into Ford as we have their extended warranty. I'm grateful for that, but am antsy waiting to hear what they will cover. Reading through the contract we believe the majority if not all should be covered. In the meantime, we're also waiting to hear "how long", as we may have to hire the towing company to take the coach up to Moran for us. We're very happy we have the TB with us at this point.
Oh and the leak? Al pulled everything out of the basement this morning, and took off the partition wall between it and the inside workings of the coach. He figured that might be an easier spot to start rather than taking down the belly cover, and he is happy he did. He found water leaking from the hose connection to the hot water heater, and there was quite a bit of water dripping down. He followed its path and found it was running over an edge and into the belly, where it was probably leaking from the bottom where he saw it. He tightened everything up, cleaned up the water mess and now will keep an eye on it to make sure that was the only issue.
Are we frustrated? Yes. We were getting very upset last night when we couldn't get anyone to help us. One of the hazards of traveling like this is that things may go wrong when you're not really close to anything. I'm glad I have roadside assistance, and feel very lucky that the first year on the road we didn't have one and nothing happened. Once things got moving, we felt like we could take a deep breath and look at the scenarios. But it is sheer panic when you realize you have a BIG problem, and you're not sure where to start. We will get through this as we have so many other things. Stay tuned...and I will be getting more nice pictures up soon!
After posting update: Dean from Young Ford called us and said the extended warranty will cover the new engine (thank you Lord) and it should be ready by the end of next week. If all goes well.